Airtel Africa CEO Segun Ogunsanya pledged to revolutionise financial services in Nigeria and drive inclusion, as the company’s local mobile banking arm commenced operations in the country.
In a stock market statement, Airtel Africa announced subsidiary SmartCash Payment Service Bank 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 through its subsidiary in April, having received an in-principal approval in 2021.
The licence allows it to deliver what Airtel Africa described at the time as a full suite of mobile money services.
“This is the beginning of our journey to revolutionise the financial services landscape in the country,” Ogunsanya noted in a statement, adding it would reach “the millions of Nigerians who do not currently have access to financial services by delivering current and savings accounts, payment and remittance services, debit and prepayment cards and more sophisticated services”.
Rival MTN Group, which received clearance from authorities at the same time as Airtel Africa, last week revealed it planned to launch the service before the end of Q2.
While mobile money and similar digital financial services have been hailed for their impact across various markets in Africa, Nigeria had previously been cited as somewhat of a laggard with traditional banks leading the charge rather than the mobile operator-led model seen in many other countries.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back