Banking & Finance

CBN Lifts Embargo on Fintechs Onboarding New Customers

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has lifted the embargo placed on fintechs which prevented them from onboarding new customers.

Announcing the development via a post on its X handle, OPay said: “We are thrilled to announce that the Central Bank of Nigeria has given OPay the thumbs up to resume onboarding new users. This milestone highlights our dedication to following the rules, keeping your information safe and secure, and preventing any shady activities”.

The apex bank’s directive to freeze new customer sign ups was issued on April 29, 2024, days after over 1,000 accounts were blocked for peer-to-peer crypto trading.

The country’s National Security Adviser (NSA) also categorised crypto as a security concern and moved for fintechs to ramp up Know Your Customer (KYC) and fraud measures to prevent crypto transactions going through the fintechs.

On May 20, 2024, the fintechs were given several conditions for the onboarding freeze to be lifted including asking them to block P2P crypto transfers and mandating physical address verification for all tiers of accounts. The fintechs were also asked to update their facial verification for customers. The fintechs have been criticised for lax KYC measures that have led to fraud, but recent reports suggest that the battle against fraud is an industry-wide issue.

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