South African telecoms provider, MTN, has announced that the Central Bank of Nigeria has granted its subsidiary, MTN Nigeria Communications Plc.
The announcement came after the Nigerian government decided last year that it would enable telecoms companies to offer banking services – to give millions of Nigerians without bank accounts access to mobile money services.
MTN Group, which has a majority stake in MTN Nigeria, had said it would apply for a mobile banking licence in Nigeria and hoped to launch the service this year.
Last May, MTN Nigeria listed in Lagos for $6.54bn, which turned it into Nigerian Stock Exchange’s second-largest stock by market value.
MTN Nigeria Chief Executive Officer, Ferdi Moolman, confirmed that the company’s Yello Digital Financial Services Limited unit had been granted a ‘full super-agent’ licence by CBN.
Moolman said, “Through the network established by YDFS, MTN is in a position to broaden the availability of financial services for the underserved across the country.
“This marks a very important first step in leveraging our infrastructure to scale our fintech initiatives. We have also applied for a Payment Service Bank Licence, which will enable us, in time, to offer a broader and deeper range of financial services to those communities and we remain hopeful we will receive approval shortly.”
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