Nigeria is without doubt one of the most vibrant and exciting markets that I know. With a huge population, rich in natural resources, a very high growth rate and almost no personal debt, this country is ready to surprise the world with what is possible. And more than any country this is mobile payment paradise. Consider that the country’s finances is well regulated, that many banks are very profitable and sound, yet a large percentage of the population do not have access to financial services. Everybody has been working towards launching mobile products in this markets.Previously some products were officially launched, like Moneybox (Read here) and FlashmeCash (Read here), but with limited/low levels of success. These products just did not reach critical mass. Other entrants in the market were not given licenses to operate because the Central Nigerian Bank (CBN) were in the process of reviewing the regulatory framework. This was published in 2008 and identified three different licenses that would be granted in Nigeria (Bank focused, Bank Led and non-Bank Led). (Read here). With a great framework in place, CBN then started a structured process with submissions and proper evaluation to grant licenses.The process took a long time. An open letter than I particularly enjoyed was written during that time by Mr Taiwo Olaoye, asking for the licenses to be granted. (Read here). However the CBN was unwavering in sticking to a well-managed and rigorous process. This culminated in the provisional granting of a number of licenses in December 2010. More about this in the next blog.