Airtel Africa has launched SmartCash Payment Service Bank, a wholly-owned subsidiary, to provide secure and reliable financial services across Nigeria.
SmartCash Payment Service Bank is licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria and headquartered in Lagos. It is able to accept deposits from individuals and small businesses, carry out payment and remittance services within Nigeria, and issue debit and prepaid cards among other banking services. SmartCash also enables person-to-person payment and transfers from across the world.
The service is currently available at selected retail touchpoints, and plans are underway to expand it to all parts of the country - including the most remote - in an effort to accelerate financial inclusion. A recent Access to Financial Services in Nigeria report estimated the country’s unbanked adult population at around 36.8%.
Airtel Africa’s Group CEO Segun Ogunsanya said that the service offered “a hybrid of commercial bank and mobile financial services” that could provide a “last mile connection to the financially excluded.”
CEO & 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”.