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MTN Nigeria receives approval to launch payment service bank

MTN Nigeria, a leading telecommunications services provider led by Nigerian business executive Karl Toriola, has received final approval from Nigeria’s apex monetary authority, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), to launch its payment service bank.

According to the final approval, the payment service bank will be known as Momo Payment Service Bank Limited (Momo PSB) and will operate as a subsidiary of the leading telecom service provider with the goal of driving financial inclusion across income groups.

“MTN Nigeria Communications Plc (MTN Nigeria) announces the receipt of a letter from the CBN addressed to Momo PSB dated 8 April 2022 conveying final approval to begin operations,” the company reported. The start date will be communicated to the CBN in accordance with its requirements,” the telecom behemoth said in a recent announcement on the Nigerian Exchange.

The latest approval comes nearly five months after MTN Nigeria announced that it had received preliminary approval from the CBN to operate a payment service bank in the country.

Airtel Africa, one of its competitors in the Nigerian market also received similar preliminary approval to operate a payment service bank under the name Smartcash Payment Service Bank Limited.

In addition to providing quality financial services to those with financial access in the country, the telecom service operators are expected to use their extensive reach to extend financial services to underserved communities and income segments.

MTN Nigeria is one of Africa’s largest telecom service providers, with approximately 69 million people connected across the country. Its 4G network now covers 70.3 percent of the population, up from 60.1 percent in December 2020.

The leading telecommunications company, led by Group CEO Karl Toriola, is the most profitable subsidiary of MTN Group, a multinational telecommunications conglomerate with operations in 20 African and Middle Eastern countries.

MTN Nigeria made a profit of N298.65 billion ($718.5 million) in 2021 as a result of rising digital adoption and a recent surge in active data users and fintech subscribers.

Its service revenue increased by 23.3 percent during the year, from N1.34 trillion ($3.22 billion) in 2020 to N1.65 trillion ($3.97 billion), owing primarily to strong double-digit growth in its core business segments, with the exception of voice revenue, which increased by 8.4 percent.

Revenue lines increased by 61.2 percent, 57.3 percent, and 55.3 percent, respectively, in the group’s digital, fintech and data segments.

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