MTN Nigeria Awaits CBN Approval for Banking Licence

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

Last year, the chief executive officer at MTN Group, Africa’s largest telecommunications company, Mr Rob Shuter, said at an event in South Africa that the firm, which operates in Nigeria, was planning to acquire an independent banking licence in Nigeria by the second quarter of 2019.

Mr Shuter had said the telco would apply for a Payment Service Banking (PSB) licence in Nigeria by December 2018, after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) released draft Guidelines for Licensing and Regulation of Payment Service Banks.

Business Post has confirmed that the company was yet to receive an approval from the central bank to begin payment service banking operations in Nigeria.

MTN Nigeria, in its recently released consolidated and separate financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2018, confirmed that it was still expecting the authorisation to commence such business in the country, its biggest market.

Already, the MTN Nigeria has created a new subsidiary called Yello Digital Financial Services Limited, which will most likely carry out such services to its customers in Nigeria.

“During the year (2018), the group established a new subsidiary, Yello Digital Financial Services Limited. This subsidiary is wholly owned by MTN Nigeria Ltd, but is yet to commence operations.

“In addition, an application was made to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for a Payment Service Bank licence.

“We are expecting the approval from CBN. The Payment Service Bank is to provide mobile financial services upon incorporation,” the company said in the financial results.

Recall that in October, the CBN released guidelines for the payment service banks, which included a N2 million non-refundable licence fee and N5 billion capital base for operators.

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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