Airtel Nigeria says it is planning to operate the largest and most secure mobile money platform in the country through a subsidiary.

The telco, in a statement released on Wednesday, December 5, 2018, said it will apply for the Payment Service Bank licence through a subsidiary as directed in the Central Bank of Nigeria’s guidelines, adding that it had a vision of becoming the largest and most secure PSB in Nigeria.

Segun Ogunsanya, managing director, Airtel Nigeria, said Nigeria's second largest network provider will use the PSB facilities to promote financial inclusion as well as enhance access to financial services to the rural poor, low-income earners and financially excluded of the society.

“We welcome the development and we express profound appreciation to the CBN for its commitment to driving financial inclusion through technology,” Ogunsanya said.

Airtel says it is banking on it over 40 million customers and its retail footprint across major regions in Nigeria to drive the financial inclusion.

Airtel Billboard in Lagos, Nigeria
Airtel Billboard in Lagos, Nigeria

MTN and Glo are also eyeing licences

Last month, MTN Group Ltd said it will pick up an application to become a payment service bank and enter the financial service sector with mobile money in December.

In October 2018, the Central Bank of Nigeria released draft guidelines for licencing and regulations of payment service banks (PSBs) in the country.

According to the apex bank, the PSBs will facilitate transactions in remittance services, micro-savings and withdrawal services in a technology-driven environment to further deepen financial inclusion and onboard 80% of bankable adults by 2020.