The Chief Executive Officer of MTN Group, Rob Shuter, yesterday disclosed that the group would acquire an independent banking licence in Nigeria by 2019.
Speaking at a telecoms conference in Cape Town, South Africa, Shutter said it would put in an application in December and should lunch the bank in second quarter of 2019.
MTN CEO, according to The Cable, said: "We will be applying for a payment service banking licence in Nigeria in the next month or so," Shuter said.
"And if all goes according to plan, we will also be launching mobile money in Nigeria probably around second quarter of 2019."
The banking licence is for a Payment Service Bank (PSB), which is an offshoot of the initiative of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to drive financial inclusion in the country.
Last week, while speaking at the 10th-anniversary conference of Enhancing Financial Innovation and Access (EFInA), the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, said the new banking licences were to ensure 80 per cent financial inclusion by 2020.
In October, the CBN released guidelines for the payment service banks, which included a N2 million non-refundable licence fee and N5 billion capital base.
The CBN guideline was addressed to telcos, mobile money operators, banking agents, and the NCC.
It is expected that Globacom, 9mobile, Airtel, and other telecommunications companies in the country would acquire the same licence to operate payment service banks (PSB).