The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has announced that Mobile Money Operators (MMOs) in the country are to uphold a minimum of N2 billion capital base, in line with its new licensing regime.
Musa Jimoh, CBN’s Director of Payments System Management Department, in a circular stated that the Bankers’ Bank also has authorised the MNOs to hold customers’ funds under its fresh licencing framework.
The new framework offers clarity for new and existing market participants.
The CBN Director stressed that under the new licensing regime, e-money issuing, wallet creation, pool account management and other activities are permissible under super agents in Nigeria.
According to him, the fresh regulatory policy is in line with the CBN’s commitment to promoting a strong and credible payment system in the country.
“Given the significant evolution and innovation in the Nigerian payment system, all payment service providers and stakeholders are invited to note that payments system licensing has been streamlined according to permissible activities in four broad categories.
“The categories are Switching and Processing, Mobile Money Operations (MNOs), Payment Service Solutions (PSSs) and Regulatory Sandbox,” Jimoh said.
He stated that only MMOs were permitted to hold customers’ funds.
Companies with licenses within any of the other categories were not permitted to hold customer funds, the circular noted.
He disclosed that companies seeking to combine activities under the switching and MMO categories were only permitted to operate under a holden company structure with subsidiaries clearly delineated.
“Payments system companies in the PSS category may hold any of the PSSP, PTSP, and Super-Agent licence or a combination of the licences thereof,” the circular said.
The Director added that “all payment service providers and stakeholders in the payments system are required to ensure strict compliance with these requirements and all other payment system regulations.”
Jimoh said that collaboration between licensed payment companies, banks, and other financial institutions in respect of products and services is subject to CBN’s approvals.