The mobile banking revolution: Nigerian style - Mobile World Live

The mobile banking revolution: Nigerian style

26 JAN 2011

Monitise was the first to announce to the world that they have received a provisional license from the Nigerian Central Bank. With a slick British PR company behind them, this was too big an opportunity not to make some noise about. (Read here). Being a listed company, the press release was factually very accurate.Soon, many press releases followed. The one trying to out-do the other in terms of the scope of services and the impact that it would have on Nigerian community. (Read here and here). While it was clear that a number of licenses have been approved by CBN, no official announcement could be found. The CBN website remained non-committed in terms of who received a license and under what terms. It was not clear what was in the public domain and what could be reported on.This is such big news and the different parties that have received the green light will potentially have such a big impact in the mobile payment industry that I belive it important that this information be avialable to the general public. Based on a number of sources and informal discussions that I have had, it seems that the following entities received provisional licenses:Bank FocusedStanbic IBTCEcobankFortis MFBBank-led UBA/AfripayGT Bank/MTNFirst Bank of Nigeria (I do not know who will be in this consortium)Non-bank ledPagatechPaycomM-KudiChamsEartholeumE-TranzactParkwayMonitiz (Is this the Monitise brand in Nigeria)FETCorporetiI am not sure if this is a complete list (or even accurate). I would appreciate any comments to guide me on getting the comprehensive (and official) list. Assuming that this list is accurate, a few observations:It is surprising that Zain (now Airtel) did not receive the go-ahead. Or at least this is not clear. They have made such progress in Africa that it must be devastating to them not to have a license in their biggest African network.Quite a few larger banks (Zenith, Oceanic etc.) did not receive licenses. Did they not apply, or are they part of other consortia?What happens to existing players like Moneybox and FlashmeCash? One should also note that the licenses are provisional and that a number of milestones must be achieved in order to be able to proceed with offering a service.

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