NIGERIA : MTN creates subsidiary for mobile financial services

Ife Ogunfuwa

MTN Nigeria has registered a new subsidiary with the Corporate Affairs Commission, Yello Digital Financial Service Limited.

The subsidiary, which has  yet to commence operations, was created in June 2018 to provide mobile financial services to Nigerians.

The creation of a subsidiary is one of the requirements stipulated by the Central Bank of Nigeria for obtaining a Payment Service Bank licence.

The telecom company said it had submitted an application to the CBN for a Payment Service Bank licence.

“We are still expecting the approval from CBN. The PSB is to provide mobile financial services upon incorporation,” MTN said in its 2018 financial report.

Other mobile network operators such as 9mobile, Globacom and Ntel have also shown interest in offering mobile financial services in the country.

Some of the telecom operators are already offering mobile money services in collaboration with Deposit Money Banks but are now seeking to offer financial services independently.

According to a World Bank report, Nigeria is characterised by a low banking penetration, around 40 per cent in 2017 and a nascent mobile money market.

The network operators have promised to deepen financial inclusion in 30 months by collectively reaching 90 million Nigerians through the deployment of over one million airtime agents.

The payment service banks, when approved by the CBN, will provide access to financial services such as deposits and savings, Peer to Peer payments, merchant payments and utility payments to the Nigerian population.