The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has urged players in the financial sectors to operate within permissible activities and avoid unnecessary regulatory sanctions while promoting financial inclusion for the benefit of Nigerians.
Adding that there are permissible and non-permissible activities, the apex bank said 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.
Director, Payments System Management Department, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Sam Okojere, added that super agents cannot offer international remittance services to cash out at agent location nor can they operate or issue wallets.
Okejere said this during the Agent Banking Innovation summit organised by ITEX Integrated services, in partnership with Intermarc Consulting, themed: “Innovating solutions for agent banking”. Okejere noted that agent banking has the potential to promote financial inclusion, and innovations required for a sustainable drive.
Having recognised the crucial role of agent banking as catalyst for financial inclusion, he said that the apex bank is committed to supporting relevant stakeholders. He said: “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.”
He added that the apex bank recently introduced a licence category for Super Agents into the payments ecosystem, via the Regulatory Framework for Licensing Super-Agents in Nigeria.
“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,” he said.
Adding that CBN will deregulate price for a competitive market, he urged super agents to move to the hinterlands. 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. Guardian
Pix: CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele