In November 2021, Airtel Nigeria and MTN had agreed an agreement in principle with the Central Bank of Nigeria for the operation of payment service banks. Earlier this month, MTN obtained its license for this purpose.
Airtel Africa Plc announced on Tuesday, April 26 that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has granted its local subsidiary a full super-agent license. Under its new license, Airtel Mobile Commerce Nigeria will be able to “ create a branch network that can provide services to customers of licensed Nigerian banks, licensed payment services banks and mobile money operators in Nigeria ”.
According to the CBN’s regulatory framework, super-agents are responsible for monitoring and supervising the activities of agents, including the volume and value of transactions for each type of service they offer, as well as monitoring compliance. effective limits set.
The final approval of Airtel Nigeria’s super-agent license comes two weeks after rival MTN secured a banking license for its Mobile Money branch. The two companies had obtained approval in principle from the Central Bank for this purpose in November 2021. Airtel was to operate a Payment Services Bank (PSB) through Smartcash Payment Service Bank Limited. Recall that MTN Nigeria was among the first to receive a super-agent license in 2019.
These initiatives reflect CBN’s efforts to foster financial inclusion in Nigeria, where a large portion of the population is still unbanked.