Telecommunications giant Airtel has been granted a full super-agent license by the Central Bank of Nigeria. In an official press statement titled “NIGERIA SUPER AGENT FULL LICENSE APPROVAL” by Airtel’s secretary Simon O’Hara today, it was made known that the super-agent license was granted to Airtel Mobile Commerce Nigeria which is a subsidiary of Airtel Africa.
This development comes six months after the company announced it had secured a “license-in-principle” in November 2021 and is entirely distinct from the Payment Service Bank (PSB) license for which MTN received final approval earlier this month as super-agents are businesses that have been licensed by the CBN to only recruit agents for agency banking services. However, both business types are important in the promotion of financial inclusion and CBN claims that this is the major reason it is issuing these licenses.
“Further to our announcement of 15 November 2021, Airtel Africa, a leading provider of telecommunications and mobile money services, with a presence in 14 countries across Africa, today confirms that the Central Bank of Nigeria (‘CBN’) has awarded its subsidiary, Airtel Mobile Commerce Nigeria Ltd, with a full super-agent license,” the statement reads.
“The license allows us to create an agency network that can service the customers of licensed Nigerian banks, payment service banks, and licensed mobile money operators in Nigeria,” the statement further reads.
Airtel did not disclose the exact date of which activities will commence but however, reiterated that their goals will be implemented “as soon as possible”.
With these licenses, telecommunications companies can carry out various financial activities such as accepting deposits from individuals and small businesses. They can also carry out payment and remittance services within Nigeria, issue debit and prepaid cards, operate electronic purses, and other activities prescribed by the Central Bank of Nigeria.