MTN subsidiary Yello Digital Financial Services (YDFS), has secured an operating license from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) which will allow it to operate mobile money financial services.
According to a report by Reuters, the initial pivot to allow telecommunications companies begin to operate financial services in Nigeria was announced last year following in the footsteps of Kenya who have seen success in mobile money programs.
Speaking on the license, MTN Nigeria’s CEO Ferdi Moolman indicated that this is only the beginning of a foray of moves to help get MTN into the door of providing financial services.
“Through the network established by YDFS, MTN is in a position to broaden the availability of financial services for the under-served across the country. This marks a very important first step in leveraging our infrastructure to scale our Fintech initiatives,” said Moolman who then continued stating “we have also applied for a Payment Service Bank Licence, which will enable us in time to offer a broader and deeper range of financial services to those communities and we remain hopeful we will receive approval shortly.”
As Nigeria’s biggest phone network with over 56 million customers, MTN is perhaps best suited to navigate these waters first. The added experience of running mobile money programs in Benin Republic, Uganda and Ghana will also help.