Telecommunication giants MTN have received final approval from the Central Bank of Nigeria to operate as Momo Payment Service Bank Limited (Momo PSB).
“MTN Nigeria Communications PIc (MN Nigeria) announces the receipt of a letter dated 8 April 2022 from the CBN addressed to Momo PSB conveying final approval to commence operations,” Uto Ukpanah, the MTN Nigeria’s secretary stated on Monday in an official press release.
With Glo and 9mobile already operating as PSB with subsidiaries Moneymaster and 9PSB respectively, MTN will now be joining their rivals in operating in the fintech space following the approval by CBN. When asked about a date in which full operation is scheduled to commence, MTN said “The date of commencement will be communicated to the CBN in accordance with its requirements.”
The CBN requires PSBs to operate in rural areas including regions where a high percentage of Nigerians do not have bank accounts. They are also expected to have at least 50 per cent physical access points in rural areas. This aligns with the Central Bank’s financial inclusion objective which is “to enhance financial inclusion in rural areas by increasing access to deposit products and payment/remittance services to small businesses, low-income households and other entities through high-volume low-value transactions in a secured technology-driven environment.”
“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,” Ukpanah added.
PSBs are expected to have at least 50% physical access points in rural areas (mostly in form of small shops or kiosks) and may also operate ATMs in some of their locations. This enables their customers to withdraw cash.