The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has reiterated some operations that mobile banking agents are not allowed to offer, as their population increases across the country.
In an Exposure Draft of the Regulatory Framework for Agent Banking in Nigeria, the CBN said mobile agents are barred from using merchants’ Point of Sale (PoS) terminals in the course of their operation.
According to the central bank, agents should avoid using the wrong option for transactions such as the use of the purchase option on PoS Terminals for cash-in and cash-out transactions.
Also, the financial regulator restricted the PoS agents from performing foreign currency transactions, opening accounts or disbursing loans to their customers.
“An agent shall not accept deposit or allow withdrawal above an amount which shall be prescribed, from time to time by the bank.
“Use the wrong option for transactions e.g agents shall not use the purchase option PoS Terminals for cash in and cash out transactions,” the circular signed by Musa I. Jimoh, Director, Payments System Management Department reads.
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Also listed among services mobile banking agents are barred from offering are “Open accounts, grant loans or carry out any appraisal function for purposes of opening an account or granting of a loan or any other facility except as may be permitted by any other written law to which the agent is subject.
“Undertake cheque deposit and encashment of cheques. Accept deposit or allow withdrawal above an amount which shall be prescribed, from time to time, by the bank.
“The agent bank employee also should not be a staff of financial institution and also provide cash advances,” the central bank stated.
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The CBN adopted the use of PoS agents to move banking closer to underserved areas across Nigeria and deepen financial inclusion.
PoS agents have saturated the country, with many Nigerians now patronising them for cash withdrawals, cash transfers and certain bill payments, instead of visiting commercial banks.
This prompted the need to reiterate the activities of the mobile banking agents, “This has necessitated the review of agent banking regulations to streamline activities in agent banking while ensuring that appropriate risk mitigation measures are taken by stakeholders”, it said.