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MTN, Airtel begin PSB operations in Nigeria

In line with the final approval for a Payment Service Bank (PSB) licence granted by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to two major telcos in Nigeria, MTN and Airtel, both flagged off operations yesterday, Thursday, May 19, 2022.
The CBN had given the licences as a way of deepening financial inclusion of the majority of unbanked Nigerians.
MTN Nigeria said its fintech subsidiary, MoMo Payment Service Bank (MoMo PSB) Limited, formally commenced operations yesterday following a successful pilot initiated on May 16, 2022, which was in commemoration of the launch of MTN’s GSM operations on May 16, 2001 and listing by introduction on the Nigerian Exchange Limited on May 16, 2019.
The company said the MoMoPSB remains a key milestone in delivering the company’s Ambition 2025 strategic priorities. Also, in a stock market statement, Airtel Africa announced subsidiary SmartCash PSB had started providing services through selected retail outlets with plans to expand across Nigeria in the coming months. Airtel Africa secured a full Payment Service Bank licence from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) through its subsidiary in April, having received an in-principle approval in 2021.
MTN disclosed that a market activation took place yesterday, at Oke-Arin market in Marina, Lagos, where traders were shown how to open a MoMo wallet, by simply dialing *671# on any network, send money to any mobile phone in the country as well as buy airtime/data and pay bills.