The two leading telecommunication giants Airtel Africa and MTN have received approval to begin operating mobile money services in Nigeria.
This decision will mark the first step towards a long process of obtaining financial licenses from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
For some time now, closing the financial inclusion gap in Nigeria has been one of the major focuses of CBN.
Aimed at providing access and financial services to include payments, savings and insurance, CBN continues to explore many options.
Payment Service Banks were introduced by the Central Bank back in 2019 as a measure to increase financial inclusion in the country, particularly in rural areas to minimize the exclusion percentage largely.
PSBs have the ability to advance financial inclusion through their influence in creating large
amounts of capital, technological advancements, market presence, effective marketing and communication strategies, and their ability to scale strong brand presence.
The apex bank granting MoMo Payment Service Bank Limited to MTN and SmartCash Payment Service Bank to Airtel as Payment Service Banks (PSB’s), stands as the incorporation of new ideas to the system.
From a statement by Airtel Africa’s Chief Executive, Segun Ogunsanya, he explained that the final operating licence which will be granted the company within a six month period on certain standard bases, will enable the company expand it’s digital financial products and assist in reaching millions of Nigerians without access to traditional financial services, thereby enabling a financial inclusive society.
The futuristic development of this act, results in the reinforcing contribution to the reduction of poverty, accelerated economic growth and development, business growths, innovation, and overall national profitability.
According to MobileWorldLive, MTN Nigeria also affirms its commitment towards the financial inclusion agenda of the Central Bank of Nigeria and will continue to explore means whereby it can contribute to its fulfilment.