CBN lifts ban: OPay and others resume onboarding

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has lifted its restrictions on OPay, Moniepoint, Kuda, Palmpay, and Paga, allowing these fintech companies to resume onboarding new customers.

This follows a five-week suspension by the Central Bank, prompted by concerns over the fintechs’ accounts being used for illicit foreign exchange transactions.

While the CBN has not issued any official statement regarding that, two of the affected fintechs, OPay and Kuda confirmed the development in separate messages to their customers on Monday.

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.”

Against the backdrop of the concerns expressed by the apex bank leading to the ban, OPay reiterated that it strictly adheres to the approved KYC verification processes and urged its customers to ensure that the due verification process is followed for all accounts and all requirements are completely fulfilled.

Kuda also took to the social media platform to share the news with its customers and followers saying; As you probably already know, we’ve been working with the CBN to meet recent regulatory requirements by putting more account controls in place.

“Based on the work we’ve done, we’ll resume signing up new customers this week. Please, note that you’ll need your BVN, NIN, and your proof of address (followed by address verification) to open a Tier 3 account.”

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On April 29, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) issued a directive to five fintech companies, ordering them to halt the onboarding of new customers. This move came shortly after 1,146 accounts were blocked due to peer-to-peer crypto trading activities.

However, the fintech companies pushed back, arguing that the directive may be misdirected, as the majority of the implicated accounts belong to commercial banks, rather than fintech platforms.

The National Security Adviser (NSA) has also classified crypto as a security concern and is seeking to have the fintech companies strengthen their Know Your Customer (KYC) and fraud prevention measures to prevent crypto transactions from being processed through their platforms.

The fintech companies were presented with a set of conditions on May 20, 2024, which must be met for the onboarding freeze to be lifted. These conditions include blocking peer-to-peer crypto transfers, implementing physical address verification for all account tiers, and updating facial verification systems for customers.