cine pillar of the international community’s Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, and the African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team, noting that hundreds of millions of doses will be delivered to Africa in the months ahead.
They adduced that vaccination is the world’s most important economic policy at this moment: its benefits are measured in trillions, its cost in billions. It is the highest-yielding investment in the short term.
To this end, they spoke of the need to mobilize innovative financial instruments to increase funding for the ACT Accelerator to reach Africa’s vaccination coverage target of 60-70% by the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention; and IMF to recognize the use of special drawing rights (SDRs, the Fund’s unit of account) to finance this effort; and arrange large-scale investment in health, education, and the fight against climate change.
“We must allow Africa to ringfence this spending from outlays for security and infrastructure investment, preventing the continent from falling into a new cycle of excessive debt,” the Paris summit leaders said. Realising that Africa needs a positive confidence shock, the Paris summiteers consolidated an agreement on a new $650 billion allocation of SDRs, $33 billion of which will go to African countries. Two voluntary commitments were made: to mobilize SDR allocations of other countries for Africa by rechannelling $100 billion freed up for Africa (and vulnerable countries elsewhere); African institutions to be involved in the use of these SDRs to support the continent’s recovery and progress toward achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
On the merchant agreements, the apex bank stated that non-bank acquirer shall maintain merchant agreements that meet the respective scheme’s minimum requirements for disclosure, and clearly define obligations of acquirer, merchant and other parties, stating that it shall have appropriate merchant agreement(s) in place with each merchant, prior to provision of transaction acquiring services.
Furthermore, the apex bank, in its circular, said non-bank acquirer shall control merchant approvals as per pre-determined policies and procedures and also provide payment scheme acceptance privileges, in accordance with the respective payment scheme rules.
On merchant risk monitoring, the CBN highlighted that the acquirer shall maintain minimum standards in accordance with the guidelines on electronic payment channels in Nigeria and risk controls to monitor merchant activity. It also stated that it shall be to ensure compliance with the respective payment scheme rules while protecting stakeholders such as merchants, consumers, schemes and other participants as a fraud monitoring and behavioral management solution shall be put in place.
For settlement arrangement, the CBN said: “Non-Bank Acquirers shall not directly access or hold merchants’ funds, whether from or for settlement, reversals or any other reason. It shall stipulate its responsibilities to the merchant, for the security and settlement of transaction amounts to merchant accounts, ensure that Merchants’ accounts are credited in respect of the acquired transactions, as agreed in executed Service Level Agreements (SLAs), strictly comply with respective scheme rules and have controls in place, related to establishing and changing merchants’ bank accounts where settlement funds are deposited.”
Elsewhere, the CBN regulatory requirements for review and approval stipulate that the company shall be a CBN-licensed switching company or any other company as approved by it while the documentation process will require the evidence of engagement with a card scheme, due diligence and merchant onboarding process, merchant risk monitoring framework, sponsorship letter from one settlement bank, draft of merchant agreements, details of its settlement arrangements, the SLA with settlement bank, business continuity plan and any other documents as may be required by the bank.
Meanwhile, the apex bank has stated that all stakeholders will be required to ensure strict compliance with the framework and other regulations as the bank will continue to monitor developments and issue guidance as deemed appropriate.