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CBN: OPay, Moniepoint, Others to Resume Onboarding New Customers in Months

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) announced that mobile money operators, including fintech firms such as OPay, Palmpay, Kuda Bank, and Moniepoint, will resume enrolling new customers in the next few months.

CBN Governor Olayemi Cardoso made this statement on Tuesday during the 295th Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting, where the apex bank raised the interest rate from 24.75 percent to 26.25 percent. Cardoso emphasized that the CBN has not revoked the licenses of any fintech organizations.

“We have engaged many of the players on the need to strengthen their operations,” Cardoso stated. “To block money laundering and illicit flows, the apex bank introduced remedial measures to tighten up on onboarding and existing clientele.”

Cardoso expressed confidence that these issues would be resolved within a couple of months, allowing the sector to resume normal operations under a stronger regulatory framework.

In April, the CBN halted fintech companies from onboarding new customers, a move perceived as a clampdown by the Cardoso-led CBN. However, Cardoso refuted these claims, asserting that the fintech sector has not been singled out for exceptional treatment. He praised the sector’s achievements and reiterated the CBN’s commitment to supporting and strengthening fintech firms.

“Regulation is crucial in a rapidly growing sector,” Cardoso said, highlighting concerns about illicit flows within the non-heavily regulated banking system. The CBN had recently scrutinized issues related to illicit flows and money laundering, especially concerning cryptocurrencies.

Cardoso noted that the CBN has collaborated with security agencies to enhance regulations and surveillance in the sector. “We needed to take a breather and work with different players to strengthen regulations, not to put them out of business,” he explained. He reassured that no fintech licenses have been revoked.

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