MTN Nigeria’s hope of playing in the financial services industry in Nigeria has been dashed with the refusal of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to grant the telecom giant a Payment Service Banks (PSBs) Approvals-in-Principle (AIP). Airtel Nigeria, too, did not scale the regulatory hurdle.
In line with its objective of enhancing financial inclusion and the development of the payment system by increasing access to deposit products and payments services through a secured technology-driven environment, the CBN on Wednesday issued AIP to three PSBs.
The three institutions issued AIP as PSBs are Hope PSB, Money Master PSB and 9PSB. Hope is a subsidiary of Unified Payment (UP), Nigeria’s premier fintech firm. Master Money is a subsidiary of Glo Mobile, the largest indigenous mobile network operator. 9PSB is owned by 9Mobile.
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Recently, the CEO of MTN Group, Rob Shuter had on several occasions announced the importance of PSB license to its Nigeria’s operations.“We will be applying for a payment service banking licence in Nigeria in the next month or so, and if all goes according to plan, we will also be launching mobile money in Nigeria probably around Q2 of 2019,” said Shuter recently.
According to Shuter, the PSB aspiration is part of MTN’s efforts to become the biggest provider of mobile financial services in Africa.