New CBN Licensing Requirements for Payment Service Providers
On 24th May, 2021, the Central Bank of Nigeria (“CBN”) issued a new circular on the licensing requirements for Payment Service Providers (“PSP”), indicating a definite resolve by the apex bank to regulate the sector.
The Circular was released further to the CBN Circular on New license categorisation for the Nigerian Payment System dated 9th December 2010. The circular provides for the new licensing requirements of the various categories of licences which are outlined below:
Switching and Processing Licence
Switching Company is a Payment/Transaction switch that routes transaction data to financial institutions or hosts and merchants for processing and approving electronic transactions upon receiving transaction requests from more than one interface like the ATM, POS, etc). An applicant for switching and processing license must:
- be a company registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (“CAC”). The object of the memorandum of association should be restricted to permissible activities of a switching and processing company;
- have N2 billion of shareholder’s funds unimpaired by losses;
- deposit in its own name, a refundable lump sum of N2 billion into the CBN PSP Share Capital Deposit Account.
Mobile Money Operator (MMO) Licence
Mobile money is an electronic wallet service. MMOs allow customers to receive, store and expend money using a mobile phone. An applicant for an MMO license must:
- be a company incorporated with the CAC. The memorandum of association should be restricted to the permissible activities for MMOs. A holder of the MMO licence can engage in e-money issuing, wallet creation, and management, pool account management, as well as activities permitted for super-agent.
- Possess N2 billion of shareholder’s funds unimpaired losses;
- Deposit, in its own name, a refundable lump sum of N2 billion into the CBN PSP Share Capital Deposit Account. The escrowed funds are invested in treasury bills.