Business a.m.

European, African...

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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.

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