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CBN lists permissible, non-permissible activities of fintechs, agent bankers’

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As the economy continue to grow in activities and polices driving financial and digital inclusions using fintechs operators, Agent banking platforms and Mobile Money outfits, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has opened up on permissible and non-permissible activities.

CBN, through its Director, Payments System Management Department, Sam Okojere weekend said that part of the regulations stipulated that super agent platforms shall be for management and monitoring of the activities of their agents only, and shall not hold electronic money value is still valid.

Okojere added that super agents cannot offer international remittance services to cash out at agent location nor can they operate or issue wallets.

While agreeing that agent banking has the potential to promote financial inclusion, and innovations required for a sustainable digital drive, CBN noted that the involvement of agent banking as catalyst for financial inclusion, remains a game changer.

According to him, “CBN has continued to give it priority in terms of regulatory initiatives and policies to promote agent banking as a viable tool for delivery of cost-effective financial services to the under-served.

“The main principals, which are Financial Institutions (Fls) and non-Bank Mobile Money Operators (MMOs), use agents to serve at locations without bank branches, through digital channels to enable inclusion of large segments of our population who may have been otherwise excluded.”

Okojere recalled that the recently introduced licence category for Super Agents into the payments ecosystem, via the Regulatory Framework for Licensing Super-Agents in Nigeria, will maintain sanity within the digital payment space.

He explained that “Super-agents are expected to complement efforts of the MMOs and banks, by hiring and managing sub-agents are on behalf of their principals, extending financial services to the unbanked at minimal costs.”

CBN noted further that to further enhance the effectiveness of agent banking and promote financial inclusion, the apex bank has also reviewed the daily and cumulative wallet transaction limits ranging from N50,000 to N5,000,000 and N300,000 to unlimited amounts, based on the KYC levels 1-3; and stipulated that BVN remains mandatory for mobile money wallets holders on KYC levels 2 & 3 to give users more flexibility in the use of their wallets, while provision of BVN was waived for Tiered KYC Level 1 wallet holders.

Checks on corporate involvements and segment expansion roles by Business Hilights showed that several banks including Fidelity, Access Bank and few others have stepped up their agent banking visibility even as MTN Nigeria is taking giant steps since it has secured the relevant certifications form the CBN on Mobile Money (MoMo).

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