MTN, has received final approval from Nigerian regulators to run a payment service bank, the wireless carrier said in a regulatory filing on Monday.
After waiting for over 2 years for the permit, MTN Group LTD now have the leave to operate virtually all the services offered by conventional commercial banks with the exception of granting credit and processing foreign exchange transactions.
MTN said “The date of commencement will be communicated to the CBN (Central Bank of Nigeria) in accordance with its requirements,”
The bank will be called MoMo Payment Service Bank Limited in a note to the Nigerian Exchange.
“We want to leverage the financial inclusion drive. We plan to give people who don’t have bank accounts or even ATM cards the opportunity to be able to do banking services,”
“And we are leveraging on our size. When we have subscribers of over 70 million spread across Nigeria with our infrastructural spread, we are well positioned to cover everywhere. That’s exactly what we want to achieve.”
MTN Nigeria and Airtel Africa, which got preliminary approvals last November to operate in the same space, will be looking to tap Nigeria’s unbanked adult population of 38 million people, who according to Abuja-based media research house and data analytics firm, held N26.2 trillion last year alone, a move that will pit both telcos against traditional banks in getting a slice of the market.
MTN Nigeria, which provides one-third of the MTN Group’s sales, saw revenue climb to record N1.7 trillion last year, with profit leaping 45.5 per cent to N298.9 billion.