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CBN Cautions MTN over Agent-Bank License Media Reports

Super-Agents
MTN Nigeria CEO, Ferdi Moolman

OLU OJO PHILIPS 

Worried by the media reports that the issuance of Super-Agent license to MTN Nigeria’s subsidiary, Yello Digital Financial Services Limited (YDFS) has attracted, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has reportedly cautioned the telecommunications giant to be guided by the regulatory framework.

A reliable source at MTN Nigeria told FINTECH AFRICA that the financial regulator is unhappy with the media interpretation of the Super-Agent license granted MTN’s subsidiary.

MTN Nigeria has a reputation of not adhering to the regulatory framework and this had resulted in the telco paying huge sanction fees to the authority in the past.

The CBN reportedly warned MTN that the Super-Agents’ platform is for the management and monitoring of the activities of its agents only.

The agents are only allowed to serve their customers’ financial solutions from the deposit banks and mobile money operators.

However, the MTN Nigeria CEO Ferdi Moolman said the company would continue to work towards obtaining a Payment Service Banking [PSB] license applied for in 2018.

MTN said it has invested N50 million in YDFS in the first half of the year with respect to the minimum shareholding requirement stipulated by the CBN for a super-agent license.

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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 1 million airtime agents as mobile money agents.

Some of these operators are already offering mobile money services in collaboration with deposit money banks but are now seeking to offer financial services independently.

The PSBS 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.