Issuing Mobile Money Licenses in Nigeria Affecting Online Gaming?

The CBN granted MTN Nigeria and Airtel Africa a payment service bank (PSB) license to conduct mobile money services.

This is a huge opportunity for the Nigerian gaming industry which has grown from obscurity to mainstream business and is now worth billions of dollars. Fintech, Bank Cards, ATM and Bank USSD Short Code payment has played a huge role in this exponential growth and has been the preferred choice for bettors over the years.

Though the rise of mobile money in Sub-Saharan Africa has influenced the rise of online betting and gambling, particularly in East Africa, where it is the preferred method for sports betting enthusiasts to deposit/receive payment from their favorite bookmaker.

Mobile money is transforming the East African gaming business, and not only the gaming industry.

It has helped several industries achieve massive turnover. The gaming business seems to be the main driver of recent development in online betting and gambling. In the six months from April to September 2021, Sh83.2 billion was wagered using M-Pesa in Kenya. This shows the power of mobile money. It might boost sports betting income, improve financial inclusion, and revolutionize all industries that have embraced technology. To date, just 64.1% of Nigerians were financially involved, according to EFInA.

That leaves 38.1 million of the 106 million persons (18+) completely out. This is a huge market that Nigerian gaming businesses might tap into. Of course, it’s a large market for gaming, eCommerce, logistics, and health. To improve financial inclusion and the growth of the payment system via a safe technology-driven environment, the central bank of Nigeria decided to award PSB permission to two large telecoms corporations.

However, as stated in the article, this new move would cause upheaval in Nigeria and allow rural and underprivileged populations to access banking services. By 2020, an estimated 38 million individuals, mostly in rural areas, would have access to financial services courtesy to MTN and Airtel’s pending mobile money license. Financial services provided by telecoms will enable rural residents to get necessary financial aid. To millions of unbanked Nigerians, the rules provide mobile network carriers financial services. They may only do so as PSBs and via a distinct subsidiary. MTN and Airtel will provide PSB services through MoMo and Smartcash, respectively.

With high volume, low-value transactions in a safe technology-driven environment were the key aims of this endeavor to build up PSBs.

As shown in Kenya, Ghana, Rwanda, and other countries that have adopted the mobile money-led financial inclusion model, these methods are more likely to reach some of the objectives. Kenya’s financial inclusion increased from 26.7 percent a decade ago to 83 percent in 2020, mostly due to mobile technologies. With 102 million users in East Africa, 56 million in West Africa, and 20 million in Central Africa, Kenya is now a global leader in mobile money. Safaricom launched M-Pesa 12 years ago to serve Kenyans without access to traditional banking. Mobile money’s effectiveness in extending financial inclusion is visible in one location.

Since the Central Bank just allowed non-financial entities to provide financial services in 2018, Nigeria may be late to the party. For casino businesses that only operate digitally, the recent pre-approval for mobile money service in Africa’s most populous nation will be a game-changer.

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