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With Glo’s MoneyMaster, Nigeria now has 5 payment service banks

With Glo’s MoneyMaster, Nigeria now has 5 payment service banks

Access to financial services for the unbanked and underbanked people in Africa’s biggest economy is expected to increase as Globacom (Glo) has launched its Payment Service Bank (PSB) called ‘MoneyMaster’.

The telecommunication giant’s MoneyMaster along with the four already established PSBs operating in Nigeria namely, Hope PSB, 9PSB, MTN’s Momo PSB and Airtel’s SmartCash PSB brings the number of operators to five across the country.

The number of PSBs is almost at par with India which currently has six active PSBs such are Airtel Payment Bank, India Post Payment Bank, Fino, Paytm Payment Bank, NSDL Payment Bank and Jio Payment Bank.

According to a press statement sent last week, Globacom’s PSB which commenced commercial operations on May 30, 2022, is poised to redefine the PSBs’ landscape while driving financial inclusion in Nigeria.

“Our over-arching business objective remains to empower Nigerians by providing them with unlimited opportunities. MoneyMaster extends that objective as it targets the unbanked and under-banked with G-Kala, its flagship product in order to deepen financial inclusion in Nigeria,” it stated.

It also stated that one key feature of MoneyMaster’s G-kala product is that the customer’s phone number will be used as his or her account number.

“We are grateful to the CBN for the opportunity to deepen financial inclusion in Nigeria using our cutting edge technology and vast network.”

Read also: Glo’s MoneyMaster PSB commences operation in Nigeria

Data from Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System shows that as at December 2021, the number of active bank accounts stood at 133.5 million, with only 51.7 million Bank Verification Numbers (BVNs) registered.

“There is a huge gap and potential for PSBs like MoneyMaster to help bring more people in the financial inclusion net to. We will be leveraging on its pan-Nigerian spread and pervasive agents’ footprint in the rural and urban areas as it begins its massive roll-out,’ the statement stated.

“To open an account, all the customer needs to do is dial *995# then follow the prompts from a Glo line or from any other telecommunications network as MoneyMaster PSB is network agnostic many unbanked and under-banked into the financial services ecosystem,” the statement further said.

A PSB is a type of bank that operates on a smaller scale by harnessing technology services through mobile and agency banking to mobilise deposits and facilitate transfers from unbanked customers in rural areas and any location in a country. It is a key element of social inclusion, particularly useful in combating poverty and income inequality.

According to data from Enhancing Financial Innovation and Access (EFInA), Nigeria’s financial inclusion rate grew to 64.1 percent in 2020 from 63.2 percent in 2018. The 2020 figure is below the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s 80 percent financial inclusion target for the year 2020.

Although the inclusion rate dropped marginally from 36.8 percent in 2018 to 35.9 percent in 2020, the excluded adult population of 38.1 million reported in 2020 was higher than the 36.6 million recorded in 2018, meaning 1.5 million adults fell into the exclusion circle in the last two years to 2020.

Experts say that PSBs could enhance the availability and equality of opportunities to access formal financial services, thereby helping the country to achieve its goal of ensuring that 95 percent of the Nigerian adult population is financially included by year 2024.