Nigeria’s telecoms market leader, MTN, has received the final approval to operate as Mobile Money Payment Service Bank (Momo PSB).
The approval was granted by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), according to a statement issued on Monday by MTN Nigeria Secretary, Uro Ukpanah.
“MTN Nigeria Communications PIc (MTN Nigeria) announces the receipt of a letter dated 8 April 2022 from the CBN addressed to Momo PSB conveying final approval to commence operations,” the statement partly read.
“The date of commencement will be communicated to the CBN in accordance with its requirements.
“MTN Nigeria affirms its commitment towards the financial inclusion agenda of the CBN and the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and we are excited at this opportunity to support its fulfilment.”
PSB operators provide financial services through digital means to low-income earners and people that do not use banks or banking institutions for transactions.
They are expected to operate in rural areas where Nigerians do not have bank accounts and should have at least 50 percent physical access points in rural areas.
Following the CBN nod, MTN Nigeria will join the likes of Moneymaster PSB, a subsidiary of Glo, and 9PSB, a subsidiary of 9mobile, to operate in the fintech space.
Meanwhile, in Ghana MobileMoney Limited, MTN Ghana’s mobile finance subsidiary is the overwhelming market leader, accounting for a whopping 1.085 billion transactions out of 1.27 billion in the third quarter of 2021.
Like Nigeria, mobile businesses have also been separated from the main telecoms service, with different management. In effect, while the telecom operator reports to National Communications Authority (NCA), the mobile money subsidiary reports to the Bank of Ghana as its regulator.
MTN Ghana as a company has been declared a significant market power by the NCA. But the Bank of Ghana has not yet singled MTN MobileMoney out for any SMP regulations yet.