Business & Markets

Opay Quashes Panic As Some Finetechs Are Stopped From Fund Transfers

Opay Quashes Panic As Some Finetechs Are Stopped From Fund Transfers

One of Nigeria’s leading finetechs, Opay has quickly moved to assure its customers after the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System, NIBSS ordered the immediate disconnection of all non-deposit-taking financial entities from the Nigerian Interbank Payment (NIP) network.

While the unregistered and uninsured finetechs can send money into the NIP, they, however, cannot receive funds from the channel.

Initial reports had listed Opay, arguably the country’s finetech operator as one of those affected.

However, further clarification affirmed that Opay was not one of those affected being a licensed money operator that is insured by the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation, NDIC.

According to the directive of the NIBSS issued on December 5, 2023:

“This is to bring to your attention that listing non-deposit-taking financial institutions such as Switching Companies, Payment Solution Service Providers, and Super Agents as beneficiary institutions on your NIP funds transfer channels contravenes the CBN Guidelines on Electronic Payment of Salaries, Pensions, Suppliers, and Taxes in Nigeria dated February 2014.”

It noted that while switches, PSSPs, and SAs may process outward transfers as inflows to banks, they “are not to receive inflows as their licences do not permit them to hold customers’ funds.”

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It added, “Another regulatory advice in this regard is the circular with the caption ‘Permissible Services and Products of PSSP Operation in Nigeria’, Ref: BPD/DIR/GEN/CIR/05/004 dated May 11, 2018. Consequent on the above, kindly delist all Switches, PSSPs, and SAs from your NIP Outward Transfer channels only (not inwards).”

GWG.ng reports that to operate in Nigeria’s payment infrastructure, operators must get at least one of the following licences from the CBN, Switching and Processing; Mobile Money Operations; Payment Solution Services; and Regulatory Sandbox. Only MMOs can hold customer funds, according to the CBN.

Asserting its exemption from those affected, Opay in a statement on X, (formerly Twitter) said:

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