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Breaking: OPay, Moniepoint, Others To Resume Onboarding New Customers ‘In Months’ – CBN

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has announced that mobile money operators, including fintech firms like OPay, Palmpay, Kuda Bank, and Moniepoint, will resume enrolment of new customers in a few months.

At the 295th Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Apex Bank in Abuja, monitored by Persecondnews, the governor said mobile money operators will bounce back soon.

“They will bounce back into what they have been known to do before but with a very stronger regulatory framework, to help track and block money laundering and illicit flows,” he said, adding that the bank has engaged many of the players on the need to strengthen their operations.

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

“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 have been known to do before, but certainly with a very stronger regulatory framework,” he said.

In April, 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.

When asked why the apex bank took the decision, the CBN chief said reports that the CBN has decided to clamp down on fintech firms are “farthest from the truth.”

He said: “The fintechs have not been singled out for any exceptional kind of treatment; the CBN remained proud of the exploits of fintech firms in the last number of years, 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,” Cardoso said, citing illicit flows within the sub-sector.

“More recently, we had the cause to take a deep 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 cause to know that there is the need for heightened surveillance.”

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

Cardoso 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.

“We felt there was a need for us to take a breather and work with different players to strengthen regulations, not by any means to throw them out of business.

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

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