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CBN Withdraws Cellulant’s Mobile Money License, Company Exits Sector

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African payments company, Cellulant, has recently made the strategic decision to exit the Nigerian mobile money sector. This move comes after the revocation of its mobile money license by the Central Bank of Nigeria. The company will now shift its focus to delivering payment services to businesses.

The CBN has announced the revocation of Cellulant’s mobile money license following the company’s decision to cease operations under the license.

According to Cellulant, the mobile money license was not revoked due to any infractions or breaches. The CBN’s delay in gazetting the request in December 2023 was attributed to the time taken to conclude the revocation process as requested by Cellulant.

The company stated that their transition to providing payment solutions dates back to 2021, culminating in the acquisition of a Payment Solution Service Provider (PSSP) license from the CBN, which has been secured and is now in operation.

On February 16, 2023, it was announced that the PSSP license had been renewed. This license enables the company to securely offer online and offline payment solutions, including collections, check-out, biller aggregation, and payout services to numerous businesses across Nigeria.

Founded in 2002 as a music streaming platform, Cellulant has since evolved into a leading fintech company. Today, it offers a wide range of services including digital payments and the management of an extensive ecosystem comprising retailers, merchants, banks, mobile network operators, governments, and international development partners.

The company has a physical presence in 18 African countries and boasts of providing over 154 payment options in 34 countries. It connects 220 million users to a single inclusive network, facilitating interoperability.

Recently, Cellulant has been in the spotlight due to a series of developments. In the early part of 2023, the company embarked on a restructuring process following difficulties in securing funding. Subsequently, it underwent three rounds of layoffs, citing “strategic operational adjustments” geared towards enhancing efficiency and fostering growth.

In January 2024, the CEO of the company, Akshay Grover, resigned to “focus on personal matters.”

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