Nigerian mobile operators MTN and Airtel have been granted approval in principle to operate mobile payment banking services in the West African country. Airtel says it plans to provide services through a subsidiary known as Smartcash but noted that final approval is subject to satisfying certain standard conditions within six months.
‘I am very pleased that Smartcash has been granted an approval in principle to operate a service bank business in Nigeria. We will now work closely with the Central Bank to meet all its conditions to receive the operating licence and commence operations,’ stated Segun Ogunsanya, CEO of Airtel Africa, adding: ‘The final operating licence will enable us to expand our digital financial products and reach the millions of Nigerians that do not have access to traditional financial services. I am looking forward to working closely with the government, the Central Bank and traditional financial institutions to expand financial inclusion and meet the evolving needs of our customers and the economy.’