By Samuel Bankole
Access Corporation, the holding company for Access Bank has received the final approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to operate a payment service firm, Hydrogen Payment Services Company.
In a regulatory filing with the Nigerian Exchange Limited, Access Corp. said the new payment service firm was designed to provide a payment platform where switching and payment processing services would be rendered to both the financial service providers as well as other stakeholders in the industry.
The regulatory communication was signed by the Access Corporation’s Secretary, Sunday Ekwochi and posted on the website of NGX on Wednesday.
In his reaction to the regulatory bank approval for the new subsidiary, the Group Chief Executive officer, Access Corporation, Herbert Wigwe, said “The establishment of Hydrogen is a natural step in our aspiration to create a globally connected community and ecosystem inspired by Africa for the world and aligns with our mission to build and sustain one global platform, open for anyone to join where people can be committed to exceptional opportunities.”
“Hydrogen will deploy cutting-edge technology infrastructure, strong risk management and governance standards to provide secure cost-efficient and convenient payment services to individuals and businesses across the African continent thereby supporting the attainment of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s financial inclusion strategy.”
The CBN first mulled the idea of Payment Service Bank (PSB) in October 2018 with the aim of increasing the rate of financial inclusion by leveraging the telecommunications facilities and others play in the banking space.
The required minimum shareholder capital requirement for a Payment Service Bank (PSB) is N5 billion.
Already, telecoms firms like MTN, Airtel and others have obtained CBN licences to operate in the PSB turf while the regulatory bank recently granted Fluterwave the switching and payment processing services licence.