MTN Payment Service Bank Commence Operations

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CEM REPORT | Telecom giant, MTN Nigeria Plc, fintech subsidiary MoMo, a Payment Service Bank (PSB), Plc has commenced commercial operations in Nigeria.

MTN disclosed that a market activation took place at Oke-Arin market in Marina, Lagos, where traders were shown how to open a MoMo wallet, by simply dialing *671# on any network, send money to any mobile phone in the country as well as buy airtime/data and pay bills.

The notice was revealed via a disclosure signed by the company’s secretary, Uto Ukpanah and filed with the Exchange (NGX) while also notifying its shareholders and the investing public of the commencement of operations.

According to the disclosure MTN’s PSB will be dedicated to eliminating frictions from everyday payment by digitising cash payments adding that the PSB is positioned to enable millions of unbanked and under-served Nigerians access a wide range of financial service products with an expansive agent network of over 166,000 agents and digitized partnership infrastructure,

MTN added that given Nigeria’s ranking as the destination for the highest remittance inflow in Sub-Saharan Africa, MoMo wallets in the future will also enable account holders to receive inbound remittance from any country in the world.

MTN also stressed that MoMo PSB will scale its agent network to reach Nigerians across the country,

MTN said this follows a successful pilot initiated on May 16, 2022, which was in commemoration of the launch of MTN’s GSM operations on May 16, 2001 and listing by introduction on the Nigerian Exchange Limited on May 16, 2019 and a key milestone in delivering the company’s Ambition 2025 strategic priorities.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO), MTN Nigeria, Karl Toriola, speaking on the commencement, reiterated the firm’s position on supporting the Federal Government and Central Bank Financial Inclusion Policy.

“We are grateful to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for their support and guidance through the process. This is an important milestone for MTN Nigeria in our mission to support the delivery of financial services to everyone in Nigeria. Not just those in urban centres and markets, but also people in the rural and remote areas of the country who remain excluded from the financial system,”

The CEO of MoMo PSB, Usoro Usoro, said;

“Providing easy to use, accessible and affordable financial services to all Nigerians is essential to executing the CBN’s financial inclusion strategy and digital inclusion agenda of the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy. We look forward to playing our part and are excited about the opportunities to partner with relevant institutions across various sectors to co-create and expand access nationwide”.

This comes after the Telecom Giant was granted full PSB license by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in April this year.

[READ ALSO] NFIS: CBN Grants MTN Final Approval.

The PSB model banking is expected to ease and make tier-1 banking services convenient and assessable to all. According to the guidelines of the Central Bank of Nigeria, the key objective of issuing PSB licenses is to boost financial inclusion, especially in rural areas and facilitate transactions.

MoMo as a PSB operator will be expected to collect deposits and offer savings accounts service to its consumers such as individuals and small enterprises. It can also facilitate cross-border transfers through all of Nigeria’s available methods.

MTN PSB license grants its FinTech subsidiary permission to use its technology and agency banking to mobilize deposits and enable transfers from unbanked consumers in rural regions and any other location in Nigeria where they exist.

According to the license operations are expected to be carried out in rural areas and areas where commercial deposited banks are not located. Also, it is permitted to deploy ATMs in some locations to enable customers’ withdrawal of cash just like commercial banks.

With its range of financial services offered, its license restricts provision loans and advances like deposit commercial banks.

Whilst many consider PSBs a competition to banks, they actually are meant to complement the efforts of banks, since their deposits should also be placed with any bank of their choice.

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