OPay, Palmpay, Moniepoint, Others To Resume Onboarding New Customers Soon – CBN

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said mobile money operators including fintech firms will resume the enrolment of new customers in another couple of months.

CBN Governor, Olayemi Cardoso, stated this on Tuesday at the 295th Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the apex bank in Abuja.

The CBN chief said the apex bank has engaged many of the players on the need to strengthen their operations.

Recall that the apex bank stopped fintech companies from onboarding new customers, a move that has been seen as a clampdown on the financial sub-sector by the Cardoso-led CBN.

Cardoso said to block money laundering and illicit flows, the apex bank brought up “remedial measures that will help that sector to tighten up on onboarding and even existing clientele base”.

The CBN chief said reports that the apex bank has decided to clamp down on fintech firms are “furthest from the truth”.

He said: “I am confident that as time goes on, and hopefully in another couple of months, all these will be something of the past and then you will see that sector going back into what they’ve been known to do before, but certainly with a very stronger regulatory framework.

The fintechs have not been singled out for any exceptional kind of treatment”, adding that the CBN remained proud of the exploits of fintech firms in the last number of year and the apex bank would continue to support and strengthen them.

“However, regulation is very critical in a sector that seems to have grown so incredibly rapidly.

“More recently, we had course to take a deep dive look at the whole issue of illicit flows and money laundering particularly within the non-heavy regulated banking system and we all know some of the issues that came out with cryptos and some of the messages we put out after that, which of course, gave us some course to know that there is the need for heightened surveillance.”

Cardoso said the apex bank has had major handshake with security agencies to identify the places to tighten regulations and surveillance in the sub-sector.

He said, “For that reason, we were concerned with respect to how we saw the issue of anti-money laundering and illicit flows as they made their way within the various sub-sectors of the financial industry and we felt there was a need for us to take a breather and work with differrent players to strengthen regulations, not by any means to throw them out of business.

“Let me re-emphasise that as at this point in time, we have not revoked the licenses of any of the fintech organisations.”

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