CBN Revokes Licences of Eight Payment Service Providers

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Obinna Chima

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has revoked the operating licences of seven payment service providers and one payment switching firm.
The affected firms are Easifuel Limited, Transaction Processing System (TPS), Grand Towers Limited, Paymaster Limited, E-Revenue Gateway Limited, Eartholeum Network Limited and Globasure Limited.

Also, the payment switch licence of 3Line Card Management Limited was revoked.
The CBN, in an official gazette signed by its Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, a copy of which was posted on its website yesterday, said the decision was taken because the seven firms ceased to carry on, in Nigeria, the type of business for which their licences were issued, for a continuous period of six months.

In addition, they were said to have breached the conditions for their licensing.
They were also said to have failed to comply with the obligations imposed upon them by the central bank in accordance with the provisions of Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act (BOFIA) Cap B3, Laws of the Federations of Nigeria, 2004.

“Now, therefore, I, Godwin Ifeanyi Emefiele, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, in exercise of the powers conferred on the Central Bank of Nigeria under Section 60 and 62 of BOFIA, Cap B3, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, hereby revoke the licences of the payment service providers listed in Schedule 1 and the switch licence of payment service providers listed in Schedule 11 attached hereto. Given under my hand at Abuja this 30th day of November, 2020.”
The CBN recently announced new capital requirement and licence categorisation for payment service providers.

The CBN, in a circular signed by its Director, Payment System Management Department, CBN, Mr. Musa Jimoh, had put the new capital requirement for mobile money operations as well as switching and processing companies at N2 billion respectively. The minimum capital requirement for Payment Solution Services (PSS) was pegged at N250 million while that of super-agents is now N50 million.

Also, Payment Terminal Service Providers (PTSP) and Payment Solutions Service Providers (PSSP) are required to have the same minimum capital requirement of N100 million.
The CBN had said the move was in line with its commitment to promote a strong and credible payment system.

“The new licensing framework offers clarity for new and existing market participants given the significant evolution and innovation in the Nigerian payment system,” it added.
According to the CBN, payment system licensing has been streamlined into four broad categories.

These are switching and processing; Mobile Money Operations (MMOs); PSS and Regulatory Sandbox.
“Only MMOs are permitted to hold customer funds. Companies with licences within any of the other categories are not permitted to hold customers’ fund. Companies seeking to combine activities under switching and MMO categories are strongly permitted to operate under a holding company structure with the subsidiary entities delineated to prevent co-mingling.

“Payment system companies in the PSS category may hold any of PSSP, PTSP and super-agent licence or a combination of the licences thereof. All licensed payment service providers in any of the categories covered by this framework holding or seeking any other CBN issued licences are required to obtain a no-objection from the Payment System Management Department.

“The object clauses in the Memorandum and Articles of Association of Payment Service Providers shall be limited to the permissible activities under their licensing authorisations. Collaboration between licensed payment companies, banks and other financial institutions in respect of products and services are subject to CBN’s prior approval,” the CBN had stated.