Airtel Eyes Banking Services, Reveals Plans to Establish Payments Service Bank in Nigeria

Avatar

Nigerian telecoms companies appear steadfast in their quest to participate in the mobile money space. The latest to join this queue is Airtel Nigeria as the country’s second largest telco has revealed its plans to set up a payment service bank (PSB) in Nigeria.

Although the time for launch is not stated, the telco plans to apply for a payment banking license from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) through a subsidiary. This is in line with the recently released guidelines by CBN in November for establishing a PSB.

The telco also made it known that its main aim with this service is to help deepen financial literacy in the country and enhance financial inclusion for the excluded population and rural areas.

“In line with the guidelines shared by the CBN, we have commenced the process of applying for a license as we believe that we are at a vantage position to empower and connect more Nigerians as well as deliver mobile banking services to the door steps of the financially excluded,” said Segun Ogunsanya, Managing Director, Airtel Nigeria.

Airtel is not new in the Payments Service space though as its parent company, Bharti Airtel of India, is the first company to obtain a payments bank license from the Reserve Bank of India. The license empowered it to establish the Airtel Payments Bank and become the first live payments bank in the country.

Mobile Money allows customers to transfer or receive money to wallets across all the telecom networks that offer mobile money services. Users can also transfer money between mobile wallets and bank accounts. And due to the recent boom in digital innovation, mobile money seems to be having a strong foothold.

Recent reports by the Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS) reveals that the number of mobile money customers rose from 3.2 million recorded in 2017 to 5.54 million this year. Also, in a nine-month review (January to September 2018), the volume of mobile money transaction in Nigeria was N1.2 trillion. This shows a significant acceptance of Mobile Money in Nigeria despite just being recently launched by the CBN.

And with a subscriber base of over 40 million Nigerians scattered across the country, the telco might be on its way to becoming one of the country’s largest payments bank.


If you’d like to get featured on our Entrepreneur Spotlight, click here to share your startup story with us.



Technext Newsletter

Get the best of Africa’s daily tech to your inbox – first thing every morning.
Join the community now!

Technext Newsletter

Get the best of Africa’s daily tech to your inbox – first thing every morning.
Join the community now!