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Nigeria Enforces Fintech Onboarding Freeze Amidst KYC Crackdown

In this post:

  • According to CBN compliance, fintech companies are quickly falling out of favor and addressing KYC issues.
  • Through government collaboration, great emphasis is to put an end to economic misconduct
  • The new SEC leadership in crypto regulation will probably be a boom.

Four well-known fintech companies have received orders from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to stop onboarding new clients. This mandate is part of a larger audit of OPay, Kuda Bank, Moniepoint, and PalmPay’s KYC procedures.

KYC concerns prompt temporary onboarding pause

The CBN directive influenced the operation of these fintech platforms, “they have been put on hold for the time being, meaning those who would have had new accounts cannot continue. 

Each website features a notice of apology, indicating no disgrace on their account for the momentary interruption that affected them. Because no new customers are to be acquired, the continuing operation and the existing customers’ deposits remain safe and sound.”

The move entails the Central Bank devising measures reflecting a series of events in which the legitimacy of the fintech platform was called into question due to loose KYC regulations. 

The story goes back to Fidelity Bank in October 2023, which had similar concerns about fraudulent activities restricting OPay, PalmPay, Kuda, and MonieP transactions. In turn, the banking authority implemented new KYC rules for any related financial institutions, and they focused on fintech startups as the most prominent threat.

Government crackdown on Fintech

Government involvement in the fintech industry is practically the CBN directive. The alignment of the National Security Agency (NSA) and economic-related fraud agencies like the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in the battle against financial misdoings exposes their undeniable effort to eradicate such acts. 

The EFCC’s recent blocking of over a thousand accounts involved in unauthorized foreign exchange market transactions clearly shows the extra regulatory attention the financial sector is now subject to. The industry has mixed reactions, from cautious optimism to concerns about intensifying trade tensions. 

While some industries welcome the assistance afforded by higher domestic production requirements to strengthen their competitive edge, others fear that worldwide trade relations may become increasingly complicated.

Although stopping the enrollment of a new customer base may disrupt business operations, the independent decision by the regulators is the right move in that it guards against regulatory infringements as it safeguards the financial risks. 

The recently conducted audit of KYC procedures is undoubtedly evidence of the industry’s determination and commitment to ensuring regulatory oversight.

Regulatory evolution

However, amid these interventions, several positive policies and programs are currently being implemented within Nigeria’s financial regulatory structure.

The appointment of Emomotimi Agama as the new Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) by the crypto community and investors not only for the recent economy but also for the future’s crypto economy is considered by cryptocurrency enthusiasts as an optimistic move. 

The appointment fosters devotion among investors, controls the capital market, and accelerates economic growth. The regulatory authority and fintech start-ups are expected to collaborate to expedite the process of acquiring licenses to operate crypto exchanges in Nigeria. 

Some stakeholders view the selection of Emomotimi Agama as a positive outcome that vows to open a new chapter of consensus between regulators and the crypto industry, which should result in an appropriate framework for innovation and growth.

The CBN’s resoluteness against the currently ongoing activities of e-currency firms, which has led to the central bank’s ban on their customer onboarding operations, further explains the necessity of the KYC process for the financial system. Although they might be less desirable in the short run, such regulatory measures were intended to control standards of compliance and financial risks. 

Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decision.

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