CBN Lifts Ban on New Account Openings for OPay, Moniepoint, and Others

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has lifted its ban on new account openings for fintech companies OPay, Moniepoint, Kuda, PalmPay, and Paga.

In April 2024, the CBN ordered these five fintech firms to halt onboarding new customers to combat industry fraud. OPay emphasised their commitment to proper KYC (Know Your Customer) verification processes and urged customers to complete all necessary verification steps.

The ban’s removal suggests that these fintechs have now met the CBN’s KYC standards. This comes after the CBN froze 1,146 bank accounts linked to unauthorised forex transactions in April 2024. In May, the neobanks held talks with the National Security Adviser, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, and the CBN to address lifting the ban.

Regulators instructed the neobanks to stop peer-to-peer crypto transactions and update customer details, requiring bank verification or national identity numbers for all account tiers. This was part of a broader December 2023 directive to strengthen KYC processes by mandating valid identification for all account types.

In response, PalmPay added facial verification and began visiting merchants in person to confirm their addresses. Kuda asked customers to upload proof of their home addresses. OPay started physical address verification for all merchants using OPay Business, with staff visiting locations to assist. Merchants were advised to verify the identity of personnel to avoid fraud.

This development brings relief to the neobanks, which faced operational disruptions due to the ban, but it also highlights ongoing regulatory challenges in the country.

Hi, I’m Damife Isaac

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