PocketApp, the social payments subsidiary of PiggyVest, a Nigerian digital asset management platform, has been granted approval in principle (AIP) to operate as a mobile money operator (MMO) in Nigeria.

The approval from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the country’s apex monetary authority, came in on April 25, the company disclosed.

PocketApp, which just rebranded from Abeg, a money transfer app, announced the approval on Monday in a statement shared with Finance Magnates.

The social payment firm said the approval “ is the first step towards final approval subject to the fulfilment of certain conditions as stipulated by the CBN.”

On top of that, the fintech company said the development is an important step in its bid to power smooth payments and online commerce in Nigeria.

Patricia Adoga, the Chief Operating Officer of PocketApp, said the company has been building the core infrastructure to support social commerce and payments at scale for over a year and half.

"We believe that social commerce will thrive better in a more trusted environment. So we added escrow to our payment infrastructure, protecting buyers and sellers and many other features, ensuring a smooth shopping experience on the app," Adoga said.

What Can the MMO License Do?

With the mobile money operator license, PocketApp said it will be able to create and manage digital wallets and issue electronic money, among other endeavors permitted by the CBN.

Odunayo Eweniyi, the Co-Founder and COO of PiggyVest, noted that the full operating license will enable the company to advance the growth trajectory of PocketApp and the company's other digital financial products.

Furthermore, the MMO license will make it possible for the fintech firm to reach millions of micro-entrepreneurs in Nigeria.

The Co-Founder noted that the company will work closely with CBN to meet all its conditions to receive the full operating license.

“PocketApp affirms its commitment to the financial inclusion agenda of the CBN and the Federal Republic of Nigeria and will continue to make it easier for our teeming young population to seamlessly carry out their transactions, while saving them costs and giving them more access to get paid,” PocketApp said in the statement.

New Actors in Nigeria's Payments Industry

In Nigeria, the use of digital channels for payments has been on the rise over the past several years.

In late May, two of Africa’s telecommunication giants, MTN Nigeria, and Airtel Africa, said their payments subsidiaries were kick-starting operations.

This was after the telco giants got full licenses from the CBN to run a payment service bank in the country.

Like PocketApp, MTN Nigeria and Airtel Africa stated that they want to drive inclusion in Nigeria's payments industry.

However, if the telco giants will be able to disrupt Nigeria’s payment industry, experts told Finance Magnates, then they must overcome the issues of trust, adoption and acceptance.

PocketApp, the social payments subsidiary of PiggyVest, a Nigerian digital asset management platform, has been granted approval in principle (AIP) to operate as a mobile money operator (MMO) in Nigeria.

The approval from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the country’s apex monetary authority, came in on April 25, the company disclosed.

PocketApp, which just rebranded from Abeg, a money transfer app, announced the approval on Monday in a statement shared with Finance Magnates.

The social payment firm said the approval “ is the first step towards final approval subject to the fulfilment of certain conditions as stipulated by the CBN.”

On top of that, the fintech company said the development is an important step in its bid to power smooth payments and online commerce in Nigeria.

Patricia Adoga, the Chief Operating Officer of PocketApp, said the company has been building the core infrastructure to support social commerce and payments at scale for over a year and half.

"We believe that social commerce will thrive better in a more trusted environment. So we added escrow to our payment infrastructure, protecting buyers and sellers and many other features, ensuring a smooth shopping experience on the app," Adoga said.

What Can the MMO License Do?

With the mobile money operator license, PocketApp said it will be able to create and manage digital wallets and issue electronic money, among other endeavors permitted by the CBN.

Odunayo Eweniyi, the Co-Founder and COO of PiggyVest, noted that the full operating license will enable the company to advance the growth trajectory of PocketApp and the company's other digital financial products.

Furthermore, the MMO license will make it possible for the fintech firm to reach millions of micro-entrepreneurs in Nigeria.

The Co-Founder noted that the company will work closely with CBN to meet all its conditions to receive the full operating license.

“PocketApp affirms its commitment to the financial inclusion agenda of the CBN and the Federal Republic of Nigeria and will continue to make it easier for our teeming young population to seamlessly carry out their transactions, while saving them costs and giving them more access to get paid,” PocketApp said in the statement.

New Actors in Nigeria's Payments Industry

In Nigeria, the use of digital channels for payments has been on the rise over the past several years.

In late May, two of Africa’s telecommunication giants, MTN Nigeria, and Airtel Africa, said their payments subsidiaries were kick-starting operations.

This was after the telco giants got full licenses from the CBN to run a payment service bank in the country.

Like PocketApp, MTN Nigeria and Airtel Africa stated that they want to drive inclusion in Nigeria's payments industry.

However, if the telco giants will be able to disrupt Nigeria’s payment industry, experts told Finance Magnates, then they must overcome the issues of trust, adoption and acceptance.