CBN Lifts Ban on Leading Nigerian Fintechs

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has lifted its ban on several prominent fintech companies, including OPay, Moniepoint, Kuda, Palmpay, and Paga, allowing them to resume onboarding new customers. This development comes five weeks after the apex bank halted the fintechs’ onboarding activities over concerns of illicit foreign exchange transactions.

While the CBN has yet to issue an official statement, both OPay and Kuda have confirmed the news in separate communications to their customers on Monday.

“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,” stated OPay.

The company reassured its customers of its commitment to stringent Know Your Customer (KYC) verification processes, urging all users to comply fully with the required verification steps.Similarly, Kuda took to social media to inform its customers, writing, “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.”

The initial CBN directive, issued on April 29, came shortly after 1,146 accounts were blocked for peer-to-peer (P2P) cryptocurrency trading.

The fintech companies argued that the majority of the implicated accounts belonged to commercial banks, not fintech platforms.

The National Security Adviser (NSA) had also classified cryptocurrency as a security concern, pressing for enhanced KYC and fraud prevention measures to curb crypto transactions through fintech channels.

On May 20, the CBN provided the fintechs with several conditions to lift the onboarding freeze, including blocking P2P crypto transfers, mandating physical address verification for all account tiers, and updating facial verification for customers.

With these measures now in place, the fintech companies are poised to resume their operations, reinforcing their commitment to regulatory compliance and customer security.