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PSBs and Battle between Banks and Telcos

Herbert Wigwe, the Group Managing Director and CEO of Access Bank is also the chairman of UP


Again, the overriding interest of the Bankers Committee to regulate the activities of the Nigerian financial services manifested itself through the issuance of Payment Service Banks [PSB] licenses to three entities. These are Hope PSB, Money Master PSB and 9PSB.

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.

Hope is a subsidiary of Unified Payment (UP); Nigeria’s premier fintech firm owned and managed 100% by the consortium of banks.

Herbert Wigwe, the Group Managing Director and CEO of Access Bank is also the chairman of UP while other directors include Kennedy Uzoka, CEO and Group Managing Director, United Bank for Africa; Nnamdi Okonkwo is the Managing Director/ CEO of Fidelity Bank Nigeria.

Others are Dr Adesola Adeduntan, the Managing Director/CEO of First Bank of Nigeria and Tokunbo Abiru, the group Managing Director/CEO of Polaris Bank. These are the big boys behind Hope PSB.

Hope PSB would piggyback on its parent company’s robust and proving digital financial infrastructure.  UP’s processing, merchant services, switching infrastructure, agency services and value services are huge assets for Hope PSB to plug into.

Chairman Globacom, Mike Adenuga

On the other hand, Master Money is a subsidiary of Glo Mobile, the largest indigenous mobile network operator. With the PSB license, Glo’s persistence to deliver financial services has been rewarded at last.  Recall that Glo did partner with Interswitch in 2005 to launch mobile banking. The marriage did not gain the required tractions.

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Glo Xchange, Glo’s super-agency business was Nigeria’s premier super-agency network. Master Money would ride on Glo Xchange network across the country to deliver its financial services.

Nevertheless, 9PSB, owned by 9mobile, Nigeria’s second-largest indigenous MNO, has been active in the financial industry. 9mobile is a mobile PoS service provider. The telecom giant develops and operates a robust payment engine called 9pay.

9pay is a mobile payment solution that allows subscribers to pay for apps and digital services on the Google Play store. Its subscribers can also use their 9pay accounts to pay for an exciting array of services online such as lottery, collect change digitally and pay for web services.

9pay USSD gateway is one of the most robust in the industry. The infrastructures would enable 9PSB to drive its operation with less hassle.