CBN Unveils Regulation on Bills Payments  


By Obinna Chima

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has unveiled a regulation for bill payment in the country.

The central bank stated this in a circular titled: “Regulation for Bill Payments in Nigeria, 2018,” that was posted on its website at the weekend.

It explained that the policy was developed in exercise of the powers conferred on it to promote sound financial system in the country.

The regulation covers bill payments on various payment channels and any payment platform that seeks to integrate the payment side of commercial activity and merchant aggregators in Nigeria. The payment methods include cheques, cards, direct debit, instant payments, andautomated clearing house, etc.

 It described a payment service provider as a person licenced by the CBN to provide services involving direct interactions with the payment, settlement and clearing systems and payment system arrangements, as the Bank may authorise from time to time and may include a bank,mobile money operators or other financial institution connected directly to a biller without any service intermediary.

According to the regulation, payments shall be final and irrevocable and be consistent with the provision of the circular on the Statement of Payments Finality. 

Also, it stated that requests for refundsor recalls shall be via a dispute resolution system or other supplementary rules that guide the operations of the relevant payment method.

“Service Providers shall make an automated dispute resolution platform available to facilitate seamless resolution of complaints. Disputes arising from Bills Payment transactions shall be resolved amicably amongst the parties in line with the provisions of the guidelines on Operations of Electronic Payment Channels in Nigeria,” it added.

The objectives of the regulation, among others include to document the minimum standards that must be complied with for the processing of bill payment transactions; and to identify stakeholders in Bill Payment system space; ensure achievement of the vision of a ‘nationally utilised and international recognised payments system in Nigeria.