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CBN grants MTN’s Momo PSB final licence to operate as payment service firm

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By Samuel Bankole 

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has granted Momo PSB, a subsidiary of MTN Nigeria the final approval to commence operation as a Payment Service Bank.

In a regulatory filing on Monday, the telecom giant said the CBN approval was conveyed in a letter dated April 8, 2022.

MTN said it is excited at the opportunity to support the government policy of financial inclusion in the country.

“We refer to our notification issued on November 5, 2021, in which we communicated receipt of the approval in principle from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CN) for Momo Payment Service Bank Limited (Momo PSB.

“MTN Nigeria Communications Plc (MTN Nigeria) announces the receipt of a letter dated April 8, 2022, from the CBN  addressed to Momo PSB conveying final approval to commence with its requirements.

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“MTN Nigeria affirms its commitment towards the financial inclusion agenda of the CBN and the federal republic of Nigeria and we are excited at this opportunity to support its fulfilment,” MTN Nigeria stated in the regulatory communication.

In August last year, the CBN rolled out an amended guideline for the establishment of Payment Service Banks (PSBs) to provide banking services in the rural areas of the country.

In the guidelines, the CBN stipulates a minimum of N5 billion capital base for the promoters of the PSBs, which are expected to operate in areas that have no access to financial services in the country.

FSBs, the CBN said shall Issue debit and pre-paid cards in its name; operate electronic wallets; render financial advisory services; Invest in FGN and CBN securities, and carry out such other activities as may be prescribed by the CBN from time to time.

“Payment Service Banks shall: i. Operate mostly in the rural areas and unbanked locations targeting financially excluded persons, with not less than 25% financial service touchpoints in such rural areas as defined by the CBN from time to time,” the CBN said in the guidelines.

Subsequently, the regulatory bank granted approval in principle to MTN, Airtel and 9mobile to operate Payment Service Banks in the country. It was not clear as of the time of this report if Glo Mobile has apply for a PSB licence or intend to do likewise.

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