MTN Nigeria Communications Plc and Airtel Africa on Friday confirmed that they had received approvals in principle dated 4 November 2021 from Central Bank of Nigeria operate payment service bank business in Nigeria.
Newsbeatng reports that in a notice at the Nigerian Exchange (NGX), MTN said it received an approval in principle for a licence application for the proposed MoMo Payment Service Bank Limited.
Airtel Africa, a leading provider of telecommunications and mobile money services, with a presence in 14 countries across Africa said its subsidiary SMARTCASH Payment Service Bank Limited was granted approval in principle to operate a payment service bank business in Nigeria.
According to MTN, “this is the first step in the process towards a final approval, subject to the fulfillment of certain conditions as stipulated by the CB. The decision to issue a final approval is firmly within the regulatory ourview of the CBN and we respect their right ans judgment in that regard.
“MTN Nigeria affirms its commitment towards the finacial inclusion agenda of the CBN and the Federal Republic of Nigeria and continues to explore means whereby it can contribute to its fulfillment
“While we look forward to the eventual grant ofa final PSB licence, we will continue to communicate material information in accordance with regulatory obligation and guidelines.”
Airtel Africa in its notice said final approval would be subject to the Group satisfying certain standard conditions within six months.
Segun Ogunsanya, CEO, Airtel Africa, said: “I am very pleased that Smartcash has been granted an approval in principle to operate a service bank business in Nigeria. We will now work closely with the Central Bank to meet all its conditions to receive the operating licence and commence operations. The final operating licence will enable us to expand our digital financial products and reach the millions of Nigerians that do not have access to traditional financial services. I am looking forward to working closely with the Government, the Central Bank and traditional financial institutions to expand financial inclusion and meet the evolving needs of our customers and the economy.“