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CBN to Allow Fintech Firms to Resume Customer Enrolment Within Months Amid Regulatory Strengthening

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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 enrolling new customers within the next few months. This statement was made by CBN Governor, Olayemi Cardoso during the 295th Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting in Abuja. At this meeting, the MPC also raised the interest rate from 24.75% to 26.25%.

Governor Cardoso highlighted that the CBN has been discussing with various fintech players to strengthen their operational frameworks.

To combat money laundering and illicit financial flows, the CBN has introduced remedial measures to tighten the onboarding process for new customers and the management of existing client bases.

Cardoso expressed confidence that the regulatory enhancements would soon enable the sector to return to its previous operations under a more robust regulatory regime. The temporary halt on onboarding new customers, which began in April, was initially perceived as a clampdown on the fintech sector. However, Cardoso clarified that this perception is incorrect, emphasising that fintech firms have not received exceptional treatment. Instead, the CBN remains supportive of its growth and contributions over recent years.

He noted the importance of regulation in a rapidly expanding sector, particularly in light of issues like illicit flows and money laundering. This scrutiny has led the CBN to collaborate with security agencies to enhance surveillance and tighten regulations within the fintech sub-sector.

Cardoso reassured that no fintech licenses have been revoked and the measures are not intended to drive these firms out of business but to ensure more robust regulatory compliance.

Key Points:

  • Mobile money operators are to resume customer enrolment in the coming months.
  • Interest rates increased to 26.25%.
  • CBN aims to strengthen regulatory frameworks to curb illicit financial flows.
  • Fintech firms have not been singled out or mistreated.
  • No fintech licenses have been revoked; the focus is on enhancing regulation and surveillance.

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