One of Nigeria’s telecommunication companies, 9mobile has received final approval from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to operate its first payment service bank, 9PSB (Payment Service Bank).
The network provider intends to drive financial inclusion in the Nigerian ecosystem with its expansion into financial services.
With the code *990#, users are enabled to perform all financial transactions from their phones on any mobile network at no charge. In addition, agents are reportedly placed in different locations in the urban and rural communities to help users send and receive money seamlessly.
The CEO of 9mobile, Alan Sinfield stated that the new development will further improve the country and the people going forward.
“We are happy to be the first Payment Service Bank to provide all Nigerians with access to banking services and open up a digital world of possibilities to improve everyday lives. In 2018, 9mobile partnered with Nigerian bank, UBA to roll out 9Pay, a mobile payments solution while also pushing for a fintech license. We are delighted that we have now secured final approval for a Payment Service Bank.”
To break the traditional barrier preventing financial inclusion across the country, the CBN introduced the National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) to provide Payment Service Banks across Nigeria in October 2012.
To transfer money to agents who then give them a code to be sent to the receiver, users will send a text for free to get the list of registered agents near them.
Then, the receiver can walk up to another MoMo near them and collect the transferred sum using the same code. However, the sender will have to pay ₦100 as the money will be shared equally between the sending and paying agent.
The telecommunication provider isn’t the only company offering mobile money service. In 2019, Airtel also introduced Airtel Money into the African markets so customers can send and receive money on their phones using the Airtel Africa Mobile Money Wallet.
Many of these telcos also partnered traditional banks to further drive their financial inclusion offerings and expand their services.
Undoubtedly, telecoms service providers in Nigeria are aggressively leveraging technology to provide more digitised services to their customers. But the question that remains unanswered is, will 9mobile’s new services catch on with the activities of other payment platforms that have existed before it, like Paystack and Flutterwave?
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