Nigeria Softens Rules Shielding Banks From Wireless Rivals
By Yinka Ibukun and Emele Onu
Nigeria is preparing rules that will allow wireless carriers to transfer cash, softening a previous policy that protected the turf of banks in Africa’s most populous country.
The central bank may have realized it can’t rely on lenders alone to achieve its objective of extending services to the 50 million adults still without a bank account in the nation of about 200 million people. Telecommunications firms, including South Africa’s MTN Group Ltd., are now interested in applying for licenses that will allow them, and even supermarket chains, to create units that can collect deposits and maintain savings accounts.
The regulator late last year released guidelines on how Payment Service Banks will operate to reverse a drop in access to affordable financial products.
Photo courtesy of Shardayyy.