The management of MTN Group and Airtel International are excited with the plans of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to issue Payment Service Banks (PSBs) licenses in the country.
As part of efforts to promote financial inclusion and enhance access to financial services for low income earners and the unbanked, the CBN released the draft guidelines for the regulation of PSBs.
PSBs are expected to leverage on mobile and digital services to enhance financial inclusion and stimulate economic activities at the grassroots through the provision of financial services.
PSBs will enable high-volume low-value transactions in remittance services, micro-savings and withdrawal services in a secured technology-driven environment.
Sources at the two giants Mobile Network Operators who spoke under anonymity disclosed that the firms are ready to meet all requirements to become PSBs in the country.
Airtel is not new to the operation of payment bank as Airtel India began its payments bank operations in November 2016 starting with 10,000 outlets in Rajasthan. It is the first payments bank to roll out services nationally.
MTN has deployed Mobile Money across 14 markets. The mobile telecommunications giant sees itself as a new age transactional banking provider and it’s a very big imperative for it to roll out financial services in its Africa’s largest market, the source explained.
MTN, the biggest mobile network in Africa recently said it is targeting to increase its mobile money subscribers from the current 21 million to 60 million in the next three to four years across the continent.