-Ensures appropriate risk mitigation
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has recently reaffirmed the restrictions on certain operations that POS agents are prohibited from offering, as their numbers increase throughout the country.
In an exposure draft of the Regulatory Framework for Agent Banking in Nigeria, the CBN made it clear that mobile agents are not authorized to use merchants’ Point of Sale (PoS) terminals while performing their operations.
The CBN emphasized that POS agents must avoid using the wrong option for transactions, such as the purchase option on PoS Terminals for cash-in and cash-out transactions.
Moreover, the CBN has prohibited POS agents from carrying out foreign currency transactions, opening accounts, disbursing loans to customers, accepting a deposit, or permitting a withdrawal beyond the prescribed limit set by the bank.
Cheque deposit and encashment of cheques are also prohibited. Furthermore, mobile banking agents cannot open accounts, grant loans, or perform any appraisal function unless permitted by other written laws to which the agent is subject.
The CBN stated that an agent bank employee must not be a staff member of a financial institution or provide cash advances.
The use of PoS agents by the CBN aims to bring banking closer to underserved areas and deepen financial inclusion in Nigeria.
However, the increasing saturation of PoS agents in the country has prompted the need to reiterate the activities of mobile banking agents. As a result, the CBN has reviewed the regulations governing agent banking to streamline activities while ensuring that appropriate risk mitigation measures are taken by stakeholders.
To summarize, the CBN has issued guidelines to regulate the operations of mobile banking agents to prevent malpractices and ensure that they provide their services efficiently and effectively.