CBN Grants MTN Nigeria’s MOMO Payment Service Approval in Principle
MTN Nigeria Communications Plc has received Approval In Principle (AIP) from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for its proposed MOMO Payment Service Bank Limited to operate in Nigeria.
The leading telecommunications company disclosed this on Friday in a statement filed with the Nigerian Exchange Limited. MTN Nigeria received the AIP alongside Airtel Africa on November 4, 2021.
MTN Nigeria said “This is the first step in the process towards a final approval, subject to the fulfillment of certain conditions as stipulated by the CBN. The decision to issue a final approval is firmly within the regulatory purview of the CBN and we respect their right and judgment in that regard.
“MTN Nigeria affirms its commitment towards the financial inclusion agenda of the CBN and the Federal Republic of Nigeria and continues to explore means whereby it can contribute to its fulfillment.
“While we look forward to the eventual grant of a final PSB licence, we will continue to communicate material information in accordance with regulatory obligations and guidelines.”
Nigeria’s telecommunications operators are looking to expand their offerings by leveraging on their existing customers to compete with fintech platforms that are currently raising billions from global investors.
OPay, one of the leading payments service platforms in Nigeria, recently raised $400 million while others like Flutterwave, Sparkle, Prospa, etc have also raised millions in dollars.
The new licence will allow MTN Nigeria and Airtel Africa access fintech industry’s growing opportunities using their huge operating capital.
MTN Nigeria Partners With Amazon Prime Video to Offer Mobile-Only Subscription
MTN Nigeria, the largest telecommunication company in the country, has teamed up with Amazon’s Prime Video to offer Prime Video Mobile Edition to its customers.
This collaboration between MTN, I Cell Communications, Vector, and the Mondia Group has made MTN Nigeria the first telco in Nigeria to offer Prime Video Mobile Edition.
Prime Video Mobile Edition is a single-device, mobile-only subscription that offers MTN customers access to Prime Video’s extensive catalogue of more than 9,000 movies and 1,500 TV shows in standard definition. This subscription comes with an affordable and dedicated data package for streaming and downloading.
According to A’isha Umar Mumuni, Chief Digital Officer at MTN Nigeria, “We are excited to offer Prime Video subscriptions to millions of Nigerians, providing them with access to entertainment on their own terms – where and when they want it. Video-on-demand has become a major part of our lives, and this launch offer is important to make every customer’s journey to their desired content more accessible and affordable.”
The launch of Prime Video Mobile Edition plans being offered to MTN customers marks a significant milestone in the African digital content market. This partnership brings together critical stakeholders, including i-Cell Multimedia Limited, the mobile VAS Aggregator License holder, Vector Telecoms Limited, the mobile service provider, and Mondia Group acting as Technical Partner to Amazon.
i-Cell Multimedia Limited has played a critical role in this launch, being a leading and licensed digital content aggregator with a reputation for delivering high-quality digital content to mobile subscribers in Nigeria. Its relationship with Amazon is a testament to its commitment to innovation and customer satisfaction.
H. Fayad, the Chief Operating Officer of i-Cell Multimedia, said, “We are thrilled to work with Amazon to enable MTN customers to subscribe to Prime Video Mobile Edition. This is a game-changer for the Nigerian entertainment industry, and we are proud to be at the forefront of this exciting development.”
MTN Nigeria’s collaboration with Amazon Prime Video not only benefits its customers but also the Nigerian movie industry. With over 150 Nollywood titles already on the Prime Video platform and several Nigerian Originals currently in the pipeline, this relationship will bring value to both customers and the Nigerian movie industry.
Nigeria’s Federal Government Removes Excise Duty on Telecommunications Services
The Nigerian Federal Government has announced the removal of the proposed five per cent excise duty on telecommunication services.
The move is in line with the recommendations of the Presidential Review Committee on Excise Duty in the Digital Economy Sector, which was set up to review the implementation of excise duty in the telecom sector, Investors King reports.
Isa Pantami, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy and chairman of the committee, made the announcement at a press briefing.
He stated that the exemption was granted due to the argument presented to President Muhammadu Buhari by the committee that the additional burden on the telecom sector would increase the sufferings of Nigerians.
The telecoms sector is already heavily taxed, paying up to 41 categories of taxes, levies, and charges. Pantami noted that there was no need for excise duty in the sector, as it had been contributing hugely to Nigeria’s economy.
The proposed tax had been met with resistance from telecommunication consumers under the National Association of Telecoms Subscribers, who had sued the Federal Government in court. The tax would have been an additional burden on the already struggling small and medium-sized enterprises that depend on the sector for survival.
The removal of the excise duty is a welcome development for consumers and businesses in the sector. It will relieve the burden on telecom operators and ensure the continued growth of the industry.
The government’s decision to exempt the digital economy sector from the tax is a step in the right direction towards promoting a favorable business environment for investment and growth.
Telecom Networks Capable of Massive Digital Banking, Not to be Blamed For Failed Transactions– NCC
The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC has assured citizens of the capacity of Telecommunication companies in the country to deliver hitch-free digital banking services.
This is as the NCC stated that telecommunication networks should not be blamed for failed bank transactions and difficulties in electronic payment encountered by bank customers.
Investors King gathered that bank users and experts have complained about the slow online banking services and failed transactions, holding telecom networks responsible for the hitches amidst the current cash crunch bedeviling the nation.
The Vice Chairman, NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, during an event to commemorate the ‘2023 World Consumer Rights Day’ in Abuja on Wednesday, noted that Nigeria’s telecommunication companies can operate effectively regardless of the rise in the use of online banking systems since the last quarter of 2022.
Danbatta said the NCC has enforced more policies in tune with the enhancement of access to broadband connectivity across the country.
He stated that the commission’s Computer Security Incident Response Team has been effective in drawing the attention of consumers to cyber threats and bullying which could have made them expose their financial details into wrong hands.
Speaking on the benefits of the 5G network, Prof. Danbatta said the 5G will attract more telecommunication infrastructure and resources which will in turn cause a rise in the demand and use of data services.
He added that the increased demand in data services will improve the rate of energy consumption for the telecommunication network infrastructure.
“By the time cashless banking fully took off in late 2022, the connectivity platforms on which electronic transactions ride have become robust to the extent of being able to absorb the surge in demand for cashless transactions.” Danbatta said.
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