The central Bank of Namibia has authorised the establishment of a new mobile-only bank to be operated by local m-payments outfit MobiCash.
The new MobiCash bank is being targetted at the rural unbanked population. Users of the service will have to open an account and deposit a cash balance at a network of local agents and stores. The cash account is registered on the user's phone and can be used to make person-to-person, utility and merchant payments.
In granting the license, the Bank of Namibia says the extensive costs of establishing branch networks obstructs the penetration and reach of conventional banks into remote areas.
"In view of these challenges, the Bank of Namibia regards this initiative as a truly innovative solution towards promoting financial inclusion to cover the unbanked and under banked population in Namibia," says the bank in a statement.