Following the move by the Central Bank in 2018 to approve Payment Service Banks, Nigeria's telecom giants Airtel has announced the launch of a Payment Service Bank called the SmartCash. This project is targeted at providing Nigerians with easy, reliable, and secure financial services and breaking the barriers between the rural and urban communities in the country.
Airtel Nigeria is seeking to join in pushing the financial inclusion agenda and is focused on introducing the 36.8% of unbanked Nigerians into a world of quick access to financial services without traveling long distances or migrating to urban areas. Compared to its over 206 million population, there are only about 71 million Nigerians with account numbers and Airtel's SmartCash is committed to addressing these issues. SmartCash will also increase Nigeria's move towards digitizing the banking sector and make it easier for Nigerians to achieve their financial obligations remotely.
SmartCash will have its headquarters in Lagos and will hope to have a much better experience in a tough industry by pulling all strings to ensure that its system meets the standards and expectations of customers. As the MTN MoMo's experience has shown Nigeria's digital market can be a harsh environment for operators.
Nigeria in focus:
Population: 206.1 million in 2020 as compared to 201 million in 2019
GDP: $432.3 billion compared to $448.1 billion in 2019
GDP per capita: $2,097 in 2020 compared to $2,229 in 2019