CBN Gives Airtel Final Approval to Offer Mobile Money Services
By Dipo Olowookere
A final approval has been granted to a subsidiary of Airtel Africa Plc by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to operate mobile money services in the country.
Airtel Africa, which sells its shares on the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited, had applied for a Payment Service Bank (PSB) licence through SMARTCASH Payment Service Bank Limited (Smartcash).
The firm was initially granted a provisional authorisation but after meeting all the requirements, the banking industry watchdog in Nigeria has now given the company a full PSB licence.
Airtel Africa, which confirmed this development in a statement, disclosed that this licence will afford it the “opportunity to deliver a full suite of mobile money services into Nigeria.”
“I am very pleased that Smartcash has been granted approval for a full PSB licence to operate a service bank business in Nigeria and we are now working towards commencement of business.
“This licence enables us to expand our digital financial products and reach the millions of Nigerians that do not currently have access to traditional financial services.
“We are delighted to be able to pursue our shared agenda with the Nigerian Government, the CBN and traditional financial institutions to further deepen financial inclusion in the country for the benefit of all citizens and the Nigerian economy,” the chief executive of Airtel Africa, Mr Segun Ogunsanya, was quoted as saying in the statement.
Business Post gathered that Smartcash is yet to commence and in the disclosure, it was stated that more details regarding this would “be presented with our full year results announcement in May 2022.”
Airtel Africa is a leading provider of telecommunications and mobile money services with a presence in 14 countries across Africa.