CBN is­sues li­cences to 15 mo­bile money op­er­a­tors

The Punch - - MONEY - Sto­ries: Nike Popoola

THE Cen­tral Bank of Nige­ria has is­sued li­cences to 15 mo­bile money op­er­a­tors in 2019 as part of its drive to­wards in­creas­ing fi­nan­cial in­clu­sion.

To fur­ther ad­dress ob­served ab­sence of a wide­spread agent net­work, and con­cen­tra­tion of agents in the ur­ban ar­eas, the CBN said it had re­leased guide­lines for mo­bile money ser­vices in Nige­ria.

The Gov­er­nor of the cen­tral bank, God­win Eme­fiele, said that this was with the in­tent of bring­ing the op­er­a­tors on board by util­is­ing their net­work spread.

“We have so far pro­vided 15 li­cences to sev­eral mo­bile money op­er­a­tors who are work­ing to in­crease ac­cess to fi­nance us­ing dig­i­tal chan­nels,” he said.

As part of its fi­nan­cial in­clu­sion drive, the CBN said Shared Agent Net­work Ex­pan­sion Fa­cil­ity was in­tro­duced in 2018.

It stated that it was a joint ini­tia­tive of the CBN and the Bankers Com­mit­tee.

Ac­cord­ing to the CBN, SANEF was ex­pected to re­sult in a roll-out of 500,000 agent touch points by 2020.

The ser­vices to be de­liv­ered at such touch points were given as cashin, cash-out, funds trans­fer, bill pay­ments, air­time pur­chase, gov­ern­ment dis­burse­ments and re­mote en­rol­ment of the BVN to an es­ti­mated 60 mil­lion Nige­ri­ans that were unbanked.

It stated that li­censed MMOS and su­per agents were ex­pected to de­ploy fi­nan­cial ser­vice agent out­lets in un­der-served ur­ban, semi-ur­ban and ru­ral ar­eas in Nige­ria, with higher pri­or­ity in the north­ern geopo­lit­i­cal zones, where fi­nan­cial ex­clu­sion rates were higher.

The CBN said it in­tro­duced a li­cence cat­e­gory for su­per agents in 2016 in the pay­ment ecosys­tem.

It said, “The su­per agents are ex­pected to com­ple­ment the ef­forts of the MMOS and banks, by hir­ing and man­ag­ing sub-agents and ex­tend­ing fi­nan­cial ser­vices to the unbanked at min­i­mal cost.

“The su­per agents are ex­pected to be ef­fec­tive at ex­tend­ing the reach to lo­ca­tions where bank branches may not be avail­able.”

Un­der this cat­e­gory and work­ing with the Bankers Com­mit­tee and the Nige­rian Postal Ser­vice, the CBN stated that it en­abled

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