MTN Nigeria has launched a digital financial service to provide money transfers in Nigeria and said Thursday that it plans to become a payment bank after it obtains approval from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), reports Reuters.
MTN Nigeria, majority owned by South Africa’s MTN Group, was awarded a licence by Nigeria’s central bank in July that would allow the telecoms firm to provide financial services.
Earlier, MTN Nigeria had obtained a super-agent licence from the Central Bank of Nigeria through its subsidiary, Y’ello Digital Financial Services.
The licence is to enable it to join financial technology companies that are accelerating financial inclusion through an agent network. This will ensure that more Nigerians are brought in to the financial system.
MTN Nigeria CEO Ferdi Moolman said it would continue to work towards obtaining a Payment Service Banking licence applied for in 2018.
MTN said it invested N50 million in Y’ello Digital Financial Services in the first half of the year, with respect to the minimum shareholding requirement stipulated by the CBN for a super-agent licence.
MTN, Airtel, Globacom, 9mobile and ntel had pledged to deepen financial inclusion in 30 months by collectively reaching 90 million Nigerians through the deployment of over one million airtime agents as mobile money agents.
Some of the telecom operators are already offering mobile money services in collaboration with deposit money banks but are now seeking to offer financial services independently.
The Payment Service Banks, when approved by the CBN, would provide access to financial services such as deposits and savings, peer-to-peer payments, merchant payments and utility payments to the public.