Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has awarded a subsidiary of MTN a licence that would allow it to provide financial services.
CBN last year announced that it would allow telecom companies to provide banking services that are aimed at giving Nigerians without bank accounts access to mobile money services in order to bridge the financial gap. MTN Nigeria’s CEO Ferdi Moolman disclosed that its Yello Digital Financial Services Limited (YDFS) unit had been granted a “full super-agent” licence by the CBN.
“Through the network established by YDFS, MTN is in a position to broaden the availability of financial services for the under-served across the country,” Moolman said. “This marks a very important first step in leveraging our infrastructure to scale our Fintech initiatives.”
Moolman also disclosed that MTN also applied for a Payment Service Bank licence to allow it to offer a broader and deeper range of financial services to those communities. Moolman said MTN is hopeful of receiving approval from the CBN but did not give specific details of the license applied for.
Prior to the YDFS licence, South Africa’s MTN Group, which owns a majority stake in MTN Nigeria, said it would apply for a mobile banking licence in Nigeria and planned to launch the service in 2019. Since then, MTN Nigeria listed in Lagos in May in a 2 trillion naira ($6.54 billion) debut that turned it into the exchange’s second-largest stock by market value. MTN runs one of Nigeria’s biggest mobile phone network serving around 56 million people.