CBN Grants MTN Super-Agent Fintech License

Central Bank of Nigeria has granted a subsidiary of MTN Nigeria, Yello Digital Financial Services (YDFS), license to operate financial services in Nigeria.

YDFS was created in June 2018 as MTN Nigeria’s main pivot into the financial sector of Nigeria. Thus, YDFS was registered as a fintech company in order to enable qualification for the CBN license. According to the CEO of MTN Nigeria, Fred Moolman, YDFS has been granted a “full super agent” license by CBN.

This license will enable MTN to convert their current airtime agents and recruit other small businesses to distribute financial services.

Speaking on this, Moolman disclosed, “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”.

MTN is the biggest telecommunications company in Nigeria with 65.3 million subscribers, and it has leveraged this, through YDFS, to gain prominent footing as a financial provider. In MTN Nigeria disclosure posted to Nigeria Stock Exchange, YDFS received approval in principle for its Super-Agent License in December 2018, and has been conducting a pilot experiment since then to meet the conditions of a full license. MTN Nigeria said that the success of the pilot led to the granting of a full license under which the subsidiary, YDFS can now distribute financial services to all Nigerians.

Fred Moolman further said that the company has applied for a Payment Service Bank License which will enable them to offer a deeper and broader range of financial services to under-served communities in the country.

Airtel Nigeria is another telecoms company making the push to launch mobile money services in the country as disclosed by Airtel last year.