Here are the 17 companies licensed by CBN as mobile money operators in Nigeria

Key highlights

  • The CBN licensed 17 companies to provide mobile money services in Nigeria
  • Some of these service providers have been providing succor to Nigerians in recent times as banks’ digital transaction channels fail
  • There are also concerns among some customers about the genuineness of these mobile money operators/fintechs.

Following the recent glitches experienced by users of commercial banks’ mobile apps and other digital channels in the wake of the naira scarcity, many Nigerians have shifted to other financial services providers, especially fintechs like Opay, Palmpay, and Paga, for a better experience.

True to their expectations, fintechs, licensed as mobile money operators by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), have been providing succour for Nigerians in this trying time of banking failures.

Aside from swift transfers, mobile money operators are also offering perks such as zero charges and daily rewards for customers.

However, these freebies have become a source of concern for some customers, who are unaware of the status of these financial service providers as far as CBN licensing is concerned. Since some of these offers are too good to be true, some customers fear that these branchless ‘banks’ might disappear with their money one day.

But the truth is that these neo-banks are duly licensed by the CBN. What this means is that they cannot just disappear, and the customers’ funds in their care are also safe. Deposits in these fintechs are also insured by the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), just like the commercial banks.

For clarity, mobile money involves the use of mobile phones for the initiation, authorization, and confirmation of the transfer of a value out of a current/checking, savings, or stored value account. According to the CBN, there are currently 17 companies licensed as mobile money operators in Nigeria.

While only a few are currently popular with the services, below are the 17 companies licensed by the CBN to provide mobile money services.

Abeg Technologies Limited: Abeg Technologies Limited, a division of Piggytech Global Limited, was issued a mobile money license by the CBN in 2022. The company has since changed its name to “Pocket by Piggyvest” to emphasize its transition from a money transfer service to a social commerce platform (PocketApp). The platform’s new name alludes to its expanded user-buying and selling capabilities via virtual “pocket stores” and supports its entry into a social commerce market.

Chams Mobile Limited: Chams Mobile Limited is licensed by the CBN to provide mobile money operations and agency banking services through KEGOW, its special mobile wallet that allows special savings, debit cards, and thrifts. The KEGOW wallet is also available for agents and businesses. Chams Mobile has evolved into a digital products and services company.

eTranzact International Limited: eTranzact is Africa’s premier e-payments solution provider delivering electronic transaction switching and payment processing solutions across POS, web, mobile, ATMs, and cards. The company also owns a mobile money license, which allows it to provide financial services over mobile.

Fortis Mobile Money Limited: Fortis Mobile Money is licensed by the CBN to provide mobile payment services in Nigeria. With a vast knowledge of the bottom of the pyramid earned through a consistent working relationship with its sister bank – Fortis MFB, the company prides itself as a leader in the financial inclusion of the unbanked and other sectors of the economy.

Funds And Electronic Transfer (FETS) Limited: Incorporated in 2010, FETS Limited got its mobile money license from the CBN in 2011. The company provides a safe and easy-to-use web, mobile app, and agent platform, which enables the transfer of money from one point to another – person, business, and government.

Hedonmark Management Services Limited: Hedonmark is a total solution provider, proffering professional and reliable Back Office management solutions to small, medium, and corporate clients. The company is also among the 17 companies licensed as mobile money operators in Nigeria.

MKudi Nigeria Limited: MKudi was established in 2009 with the exclusive purpose of providing mobile money transfer services to the Nigerian public. MKudi allows both banked and unbanked personnel to send money via their mobile devices across Nigeria.

Nownow Digital Systems Limited: NowNow App, founded in 2018, provides a new way for people and merchants to bank using their smartphones. The company is licensed by the CBN as a mobile money operator, and it is building a mobile app that accommodates different styles, allowing users to send and receive money and pay bills fast.

Pagatech Limited: Paga, founded in early 2009 by Tayo Oviosu, aims to make it simple for one billion people to access and use money. The company is licensed by the CBN as a mobile money operator and is solving two major problems in the world by eliminating the use of cash for transactions and providing access to financial services. Its first market is Nigeria, where it now has over 20 million unique users.

Palmpay Limited: Palmpay is one of the popular fintechs used by Nigerians for financial services and is also a licensed mobile money operator by the CBN. The company launched its service in Nigeria and Ghana in 2019 and has since provided over 5,000,000 customers with convenient and affordable digital payments.

Parkway Projects Limited: Parkway Projects is licensed by the CBN as a mobile money operator as well as a payment service provider. The company has been providing transaction solutions to businesses and currently serves over 3,000 banks, government agencies, large corporates & SMEs across 30 African countries in multiple sectors of the economy.

Opay Digital Services Limited: OPay is a one-stop mobile-based platform for payments, transfers, loans, savings, and other essential services for every individual. The company is licensed by the CBN as a mobile money operator and boasts over 18 million registered app users and 500,000 agents in Nigeria who rely on its services to send and receive money, pay bills, and many more.

Teasy International Company Limited: Teasy International was incorporated in 2011 and was licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in December 2012 as a Mobile Payments Operator. Teasy was granted commercial approval by the CBN in July 2013 and is authorized to carry out Agency Banking activities in Nigeria.

Visual ICT Limited: Visual ICT is a fast-growing fintech startup and a mobile financial services provider licensed by the CBN to provide mobile money services. The company provides a suite of mobile financial services not limited to mobile money services, agent networks, cash and electronic disbursements, payroll processing, e-wallet management solutions, airtime top-up, inter-bank transfers, bill payments, and financial solutions designed to suit the diverse needs of its clients and drive financial inclusion.

VTNetwork Limited: VTNetwork, which is doing business as VCASH, is a CBN-licensed mobile payment operator that also provides International Money Transfer (IMTO) services in Nigeria. The company allows users to transfer money locally and internationally with capabilities in 140 countries.

Xpress MTS Limited: Xpress MTS Limited, a subsidiary of Xpress Holdings Limited, was granted a mobile money operator licence by the CBN in October last year. The licence allows the company to leverage mobile technology to deliver financial services to Nigerians. The company is building an ecosystem to enable people to digitally send and receive money with ease while creating simple financial access for everyone everywhere.

Kongapay Technologies Limited: KongaPay, a financial technology company and a subsidiary of Nigeria’s leading e-commerce group – Konga, is also a licensed mobile money operator in Nigeria. The company is committed to offering the most reliable and fastest payment service in the country while aiming to be the most preferred e-payment service provider in Africa.

Bottomline: Currently, these 17 companies hold licenses to offer mobile money services, and some of them possess additional licenses that enable them to provide other services in the payment system ecosystem. However, only a few of these licensed mobile money operators are currently offering financial services to promote financial inclusion in the country.

It is important to note that even though MTN MoMo, Airtel Smartcash, and similar companies offer financial services via mobile, they belong to a different license category known as “Super-Agent Authorization” as designated by the CBN.

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