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Airtel Receives Full Payment Service Bank Licence

Airtel Africa has become Nigeria’s second telecommunication company to receive final approval for payment service bank by the Central Bank of Niger.

The company revealed on Friday that the apex bank has given final approval for it to operate a payment service bank.

Airtel’s digital bank is dubbed- SMARTCASH Payment Service Bank limited (‘Smartcash’).

In November 2021 the telecom said it received PSB approval which was still subject to the eventual grant of a final PSB licence.

“The Central Bank of Nigeria (‘CBN’) has confirmed that its subsidiary, SMARTCASH Payment Service Bank limited (‘Smartcash’), has now received final approval from the Central Bank of Nigeria for a full Payment Service Bank (‘PSB’) licence, affording the Group the opportunity to deliver a full suite of mobile money services into Nigeria,” Airtel said in an updated posted on the stock exchange.

MTN Nigeria received the final approval for its PSB- the MOMO Payment Bank Limited.

Both companies are leading GLO and 9Mobile in digital banking innovation.

Segun Ogunsanya, CEO, Airtel Africa, said the SMARTCASH will help reduce the financial inclusion levels in the country.

The PSB, according to the Airtel CEO, will provide banking service for Nigerians without a bank account.

Ogunsanya said, “I am very pleased that Smartcash has been granted approval for a full PSB licence to operate a service bank business in Nigeria and we are now working towards commencement of business.

“This licence enables us to expand our digital financial products and reach the millions of Nigerians that do not currently have access to traditional financial services.

“We are delighted to be able to pursue our shared agenda with the Nigerian Government, the CBN and traditional financial institutions to further deepen financial inclusion in the country for the benefit of all citizens and the Nigerian economy.”

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