As mobile banking agents become more prevalent around the nation, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has reaffirmed specific services they are not permitted to provide.
The CBN declared that mobile agents are prohibited from using Point of Sale (PoS) terminals from merchants while conducting business in an Exposure Draft of the Regulation Framework for Agent Banking in Nigeria.
Agents should refrain from selecting the incorrect option for transactions, such as using the purchase option on PoS Terminals for cash-in and cash-out transactions, advises the central bank.
The banking authority also prohibited the PoS agents from creating accounts, doing transactions in foreign currencies, or disbursing loans to their clients.
“An agent shall not take deposits or authorize withdrawals in excess of the amount that the bank shall, from time to time, prescribe.
“Use the wrong option for transactions e.g agents shall not use the purchase option PoS Terminals for cash in and cash out transactions,” the circular signed by Musa I. Jimoh, Director, Payments System Management Department reads.
Also listed among services mobile banking agents are barred from offering are, “Open accounts, grant loans or carry out any appraisal function for purposes of opening an account or granting of a loan or any other facility except as may be permitted by any other written law to which the agent is subject.
“Undertake cheque deposit and encashment of cheques. Accept deposit or allow withdrawal above an amount which shall be prescribed, from time to time, by the bank.
“The agent bank employee also should not be a staff of the financial institution and also provide cash advances,” the central bank stated.
In order to bring banking to underserved parts of Nigeria and increase financial inclusion, the CBN adopted the usage of PoS agents.
PoS agents have taken over the nation, and many Nigerians now use them instead of going to commercial banks to withdraw cash, transfer funds, and pay some bills.
This made it necessary to recap the actions taken by the mobile banking representatives, “This has necessitated the review of agent banking regulations to streamline activities in agent banking while ensuring that appropriate risk mitigation measures are taken by stakeholders”, it said.