Airtel Africa launches SmartCash Payment Service Bank in Abuja

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Airtel Africa, a leading telecommunication service and mobile money services provider with operations in 14 countries across Africa, has on Thursday, in Abuja, launched SmartCash Payment Service Bank, its wholly-owned subsidiary, to provide secure and reliable financial services and further deepen financial inclusion in Nigeria Nigeria.

The new service is designed to accept deposits from individuals and small businesses, carrying out payment and remittance services within Nigeria, and issuing debit and prepaid cards among other banking services.

Airtel Africa got CBN’s approval-in-principle, six months ago to operate a payment service bank in Nigeria, before it was given full PSB licence two months ago.

Headquartered in Lagos, it is accepting deposits from individuals and small businesses, carrying out payment and remittance services within Nigeria, and issuing debit and prepaid cards among other banking services. SmartCash also enables person-to-person payment and transfers from across the world.

In his address at the Abuja launch, the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of SmartCash Payment Service Bank, Muyiwa Ebitanmi, said: “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”.

“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.’’ Muyiwa, said.

Also speaking, the Smartcash Regional Distribution Manager, Ms. Onyinye Anosike, said the company, which has its headquarters in Lagos, enables person-to-person payment and transfers from across the world.

She said: “The service is currently available at selected retail touch-points. Plans are underway to expand the innovative, technology-driven services to all parts of the country, including the furthest and most remote, in an effort to accelerate financial inclusion for all Nigerians.

It will be recalled that launch followed the granting of a license by the Central Bank of Nigeria, and it is targeted at reaching the 36.8 per cent unbanked adult population in Nigeria, as estimated by the Access to Financial Services in Nigeria report.

A statement from the company, however, quoted the Airtel Africa’s Group Chief Executive Officer, Segun Ogunsanya as saying: “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.

“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.’’

“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 new service is accessible to both Airtel subscribers and non-customers.

At the end of the launch at the popular Wuse Market in Abuja, members of audience at the event were given free registration and some of them even won gifts through raffle tickets.

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