CBN pegs mobile money operators capital at N2bn

CBN-central-bank-of-NigeriaFrom Aminu Imam and Ngozi Onyeakusi

The Central Bank of Nigeria has directed that for Mobile Money Operators (MMOs) to play in the nation’s financial industry, they must have a minimum shareholders’ fund of N2 billion by January, 2016.

The apex bank   further mandated that for all providers of mobile services to operate within the system, they must be licensed by the CBN while Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC) shall issue licensed their short code and type-approved their technology.

Speaking on regulation and licensing of MMOs  yesterday at the a three day workshop organized by the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC)  for business editors and members of Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria (FICAN) on recent development in the Nigeria banking system held in Katsina, the Head, Payment System Policy and Oversight Division Banking and Payment CBN, Mr Musa Jimoh stated that the apex bank reserves the right to suspend or revoke the license of an MMO if any infraction to regulation occurs.

“It is expected that mobile money scheme  operators in Nigeria shall by January 1, 2016 have a shareholders fund unimpaired by losses of N2 billion.

The CBN among other remedial measures may in the event of fractions to the regulation, suspend operations or revoke the license of an MMO”, he warned.

Presenting a paper titled ; Overview of Mobile Payments Services Framework in Nigeria, Jimoh noted the current framework for MMOs required Un-banked  maximum transaction to be N 3,000 and daily limit of N30,000, while Semi-banked and Fully-banked to be N10,000 and daily limit of N100,000 and N100,000 and daily limit of N1 million respectively.

He equally assured that the regulation stipulated minimum standards to ensure security of transactions and fraud prevention.

Also speaking on the role and challenges of Deposit Insurance in Mobile Payment Environment, the deputy Director, Research, Policy and International Relations Department, NDIC, Mr, Kingsley Nwaigwe stated that so far, 21 MMOs have been registered as companies across the country, 15 million subscribers and 78 mobile money agents adding that transaction done within the system from the beginning to the present date stood at N430 billion.

According to him, mobile money subscribers were not depositors as in the case of banks therefore required pass through insurance.

Adoption of pass through insurance he said, will enable the corporation to extend deposit insurance coverage to them  adding that it would also help to fulfill NDIC policy objective of engendering public confidence in the banking system.

The extension of deposit insurance cover to subscribers of mobile money would encourage the use of mobile money platform thereby contributing to financial inclusion and ensuring financial system stability in Nigeria.

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