By Babajide Okeowo
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed Mobile Money Operators (MMOs) in the country to maintain a minimum of N2 billion capital base.
They have also been authorised by the apex bank to hold customers’ funds under its new licensing framework.
These new frameworks were contained in a circular signed by its Director, Payments System Management Department, Musa Jimoh with the aim of providing clarity for new and existing market participants.
“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” the circular stated.
Jimoh stated that only MMOs were permitted to hold customer funds, adding that companies with licenses within any of the other categories were not permitted to hold customer funds.
He said 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.
Jimoh explained that payments system companies in the PSS category may hold any of the PSSP, PTSP, and Super-Agent license or a combination of the licenses thereof.
“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.
He said that collaboration between licensed payment companies, banks and other financial institutions in respect of products and services are subject to CBN’s approvals,” he added.