MTN Gets Central Bank Super Agent Licence

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MTN Nigeria has announced that its subsidiary, Yello Digital Financial Services Limited (YDFS), has been granted a full Super Agent Licence by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The licence will enable MTN to convert their existing airtime agents and recruit other small businesses to distribute financial services, the company said in a disclosure posted to the Nigeria Stock Exchange.

The Super Agent licence enables the scale launch of MTN Nigeria’s fintech strategy, as part of its effort to deepen financial inclusion in the country.

Nigeria’s apex bank has been at the forefront of deepening financial inclusion in the country for years. In October 2012, the CBN in collaboration with stakeholders launched the National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS), and it was aimed at reducing the financial exclusion rate to 20 per cent by 2020.

In its disclosure, MTN noted that YDFS received approval in principle for its Super-Agent Licence in December 2018, and has been conducting a pilot project since then to meet the conditions of a full licence.

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The company said that the successful pilot has now led to the granting of a full licence under which YDFS will distribute financial services to all Nigerians.

Commenting on the licence, MTN CEO, Ferdi Moolman, said the company is pleased that YDFS has been granted a Super-Agent Licence, which enables it to extend access to financial services to a much broader group of Nigerians.

“This forms part of our commitment to contribute towards the achievement of Nigeria’s financial inclusion goals,” he said.

“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.

“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.”

The CBN’s NFIS seeks to ensure that adult Nigerians with access to payment services increase from 21.6 per cent in 2010 to 70 per cent in 2020.

Similarly, those with access to savings are also expected to increase from 24.0 to 60 per cent; Credit from 2 to 40 per cent, Insurance from 1 to 40 per cent and Pensions from 5 to 40 per cent, within the same period.

Samson Oyedeyi

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