Airtel Africa, a multinational company that provides telecommunications and mobile money services in 14 countries in Africa, primarily in East, Central and West Africa, officially launched Smartcash Payment Service Bank Friday (July 1).
Smartcash will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Airtel, providing financial services across Nigeria. Services the bank will offer include accepting deposits from individuals and small businesses, carrying out payment and remittance services within Nigeria, issuing debit and prepaid cards and more.
The launch follows the granting of a license by the Central Bank of Nigeria. Since April, Airtel has had a full “super-agent” license to operate as an agency network in the country.
Super agents are businesses that have been licensed by the CBN to recruit agents for agency banking, which involves providing financial services to communities on behalf of banks in order to increase financial inclusion.
“The launch of Smartcash Payment Service Bank gives us fresh impetus at Airtel Africa, to continue growing our footprint in the continent and delivering innovative solutions,’ Airtel Africa Group CEO Segun Ogunsanya said. “In the bank, we have the best of both worlds — a hybrid of commercial bank and mobile financial services — offering last-mile connection to the financially excluded. Through it, we want to contribute towards driving financial inclusion in Nigeria, to empower Nigerians while transforming the payment landscape in Nigeria and the rest of Africa.’’
The CEO and managing director of Smartcash Payment Service Bank Muyiwa Ebitanmi, added: “Through Smartcash Payment Services Bank, we aim to bridge the financial divide by providing rural and urban Nigerians access to innovative, highly secured and reliable banking services that is powered by technology and is relevant to their needs.”
The announcement that Airtel was launching Smartcash PSB was first made in May. Since then, the bank has been piloting its services at selected retail touch points in several Nigerian cities to prepare for Friday’s (July 1) launch.
Read on: Airtel Africa’s Smartcash PSB Launches in Select Nigerian Cities