MTN Group moved a step closer to rolling out mobile payment services in Nigeria, giving the operator a boost in a market where it is facing ongoing tax issues.
Bloomberg reported MTN had been granted “approval in principle” to begin offering mobile payments by the country’s central bank, after it applied for a licence in November 2018.
Financial services is a key growth area for MTN and a launch in Nigeria, its biggest market, fits with an aim to establish itself as a leading player in financial services in Africa.
MTN has so far faced difficulties in launching a digital payments platform in the country because of pushback from regulators, which previously refused to offer banking licences to telecoms service providers.
However, there were indications in 2018 the country’s stance was beginning to soften, which gave MTN renewed confidence its application would be accepted and it could begin offering services this year.
The news is also a positive development for MTN with regards to the Nigerian market as a whole, with the company experiencing a turbulent relationship with the country’s government in recent times.
Indeed, it is currently negotiating with authorities over a $2 billion tax dispute, which is delaying plans to launch an IPO in the country.
Bloomberg added that once the tax matter is settled, it will also push forward with its listing plans.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back