outh African telecommunications giant MTN has received final approval to operate a mobile payment service, called MoMo Payment Service Bank (MoMo PSB) in Nigeria, a company official said Monday.
“MTN Nigeria Communications PIc (MTN Nigeria) announces the receipt of a letter dated April 8, 2022, from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) addressed to Momo PSB conveying final approval to commence operations,” said Uro Ukpanah, the company’s secretary, in a statement.
“MTN Nigeria affirms its commitment towards the financial inclusion agenda of the CBN and the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and we are excited about this opportunity to support its fulfillment,” Ukpanah added.
Mobile payment service operators provide financial services through digital means to low-income earners and people who do not use banks or banking institutions for transactions. They are expected to operate in rural regions and areas where people do not have bank accounts, according to market observers quoted by local media.
Digital payments in Nigeria have witnessed fast growth in recent years, with mobile pay platforms popping up to serve the large unbanked population in the most populous African country.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari in October 2021 launched the eNaira, the country’s central bank digital currency (CBDC), becoming the first African nation to introduce an official digital currency. Buhari said at the launch that the adoption of the CBDC and its underlying technology can increase Nigeria’s gross domestic product by 29 billion U.S. dollars over the next 10 years.