New CBN Classification Rule May Roil Fintechs

By Sahabi Abdul

A new classification of payments companies and their operating guidelines may roil Nigeria’s financial technology companies, many of who will need to meet new requirements. 

The new categories announced last week include switching and processing, mobile money operations, payment solution services and what is described as “regulatory sandbox,” according to a central bank circular.

“Only mobile money operators are permitted to hold customer funds,” the CBN said in a circular. “Companies with licenses  within any of the other segments are not permitted to hold customer funds.”

Under the revised regulations, companies wishing to combine activities in the various segments are required to set up a holden company, with  “the subsidiary entities  clearly delineated to prevent commingling,” the bank said.  All service providers will be limited to activities permissible under their licenses.

Companies seeking new licenses must adhere to the requirements in filing their application. 

The  the minimum capital requirement for a mobile money or payment and processing operation is 2 billion naira. Payments solution providers are required to pay 250 million naira, super agents 50 million naira and payment terminal service providers will pay 100 million naira