Airtel eager to launch the mobile money service in Nigeria

“Nigeria is an untapped market for mobile money, with significant revenue potential, so there are opportunities for everyone.”

Airtel keen to launch the mobile money service in Nigeria as the Group has put in the application, and fulfilled the requested conditions; just waiting for the regulator to review and provide approval in principle for both payment service bank and super-agent licenses.The statement was cited in the management of Airtel Africa Plc (AIRTELAFRI) hosted a group investor session in Lagos at the end of last week to discuss H1-20 results and the outlook for the business.

It was stated that the group believes it will be awarded the license in the next couple of months; worst case, scenario early next year.

“Airtel Money does not have a heavy capex requirement, unlike telecoms. The company can build more capacity at lower incremental cost, and as such, the capex requirement will not go up substantially.

“Long term Capex intensity at 15.0-16.0% (currently: 18.0%).

“Airtel Money will be parallel supply side for the poor outside of banking system. Airtel Money will serve as a bank for the unbanked + a fintech company.

According to the report Airtel’s current success in Mobile Money has not been about beginning operations first. It has been about finding the right strategy and execution.

The statement disclosed that elsewhere for 7 years, Airtel did not have mobile money in Zambia excerpt (MTN and another player controlled c.99.0% of the market) but Now Airtel is the biggest player in that space in Zambia.

The report also revealed that Airtel played catch up in 4G as well, as the company was the last to begin the 4G rollout. Today, the company has the largest 4G network in Nigeria.

Amehnews recall that on recent USSD issue between banks and telcos: The charges have always existed and are not new. Some operators charge customers, some charge the banks, depending on what USSD service are used. The regulator (NCC) has asked telcos to suspend charges until a fair solution is found. Current charges are regulated by the NCC and are between NGN1.89 and NGN4.00 per session.

When contacted, expert at Cordros Research, said the Airtel Africa management can continuous with EBITDA expansion gives advantages of adjusted leverage. And there is a window available to expand external financing; Target Net Debt/EBITDA – 2.0x to 2.5x adding that there are opportunities for further monetisation from sale of Towers, monetising 35 km of Fibre Network, setting up revenue share for Data Centres across 14 countries, which the company has just started upgrading.

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