05 April 2015, Lagos — The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has approved two models for the implementation of mobile money services in the country namely: Bank led, which is a bank and/or its consortium as lead initiator and non-bank led, which is a corporate organisation duly licensed by the CBN as lead nitiator.In the Regulatory Framework and Guidelines on Mobile Money Services in Nigeria issued by the CBN on Wednesday, the apex bank explained that the introduction of mobile telephony in the country, and the identification of person to person payments as a practical strategy for financial inclusion, has made it imperative to adopt the mobile channel as a means of driving financial inclusion of the unbanked.
The bank-led model allows a bank either alone or a consortium of banks, whether or not partnering with other approved organisations, seek to deliver banking services, leveraging on the mobile payments system. This model shall be applicable in a scenario where the bank operates on stand-alone basis or in collaboration with other bank(s) and any other approved organisation. The lead initiator shall be a bank or a consortium of banks.
The non-bank led model allows a corporate organisation that has been duly licensed by the CBN to deliver mobile money services to customers. The lead initiator shall be a corporate organisation (other than a deposit money bank or a telecommunication company) specifically licensed by the CBN to provide mobile money services in Nigeria.
Under this arrangement, the participants are grouped into six categories: regulators (CBN), Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), mobile money operators, infrastructure providers, other service providers, consumers and mobile money agents.
The CBN states that the Mobile Money Operators (MMOs) shall put in place detailed processes that cover the entire solution delivery, from user registration and management, agent recruitment and management, consumer protection, dispute resolution procedures, risk management processes, to transaction settlement.
These processes shall cover the scope of the value chain across all the participants in the mobile payments ecosystem.
The objectives of the guidelines are to ensure a structured and orderly development of mobile money services in the country, with clear definition of various participants and their expected roles and responsibilities.
It also specifies the minimum technical and business requirements for the various participants recognised for the mobile money services industry, as well as aims to promote safety and effectiveness of mobile money services and thereby enhance user confidence in the services.
The objectives of the regulatory framework are to provide an enabling environment for the adoption of mobile payment services in reducing cash dominance in the economy and to ensure a structured and orderly development of mobile payment services in Nigeria, with clear definition of various participants and their expected roles and responsibilities.
*Sola Alabadan – Daily Independent