CBN Sets Deadline for 1.9 Million POS Operators in Nigeria to Register with CAC

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has given Point of Sale (PoS) operators a 60-day ultimatum to complete their registration with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).

This decision was reached during a meeting held on Monday between Fintechs and the Registrar-General of the CAC, Hussaini Ishaq Magaji, in Abuja.

As reported by the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System, there are currently over 1.9 million PoS terminals deployed by merchants and individuals across the country.

The Registrar-General of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) emphasized during the meeting that the registration requirement was aimed at protecting the businesses of Fintech customers and bolstering the economy.

He underscored that this action was supported by Section 863, Subsection 1 of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) 2020, as well as the 2013 guidelines on agent banking issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

He clarified that the deadline for registration, set to expire on July 7, 2024, was not targeted at specific groups or individuals but was genuinely intended to provide business protection.

A statement released by the commission stated, “The Corporate Affairs Commission and fintech companies in Nigeria, better known as PoS operators,

have agreed to a two-month timeline to register their agents, merchants, and individuals with the CAC in line with legal requirements and the directives of the Central Bank of Nigeria.”

This directive comes in response to the increasing incidents of fraud involving POS terminals and the CBN’s plans to prohibit trading in cryptocurrency or any virtual currency.

According to a fraud report by the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc, POS terminals accounted for 26.37% of fraud incidents in 2023.

Recently, the CBN instructed major fintech firms like Kuda, Opay, PalmPay, and Moniepoint to stop onboarding new customers and warned against trading in cryptocurrency or any virtual currency on their apps.

The CBN’s move was linked to an ongoing audit of the Know-Your-Customer process of fintechs, amidst concerns about money laundering and terrorism financing.

Prior to the CBN’s directive, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) obtained a court order to freeze at least 1,146 bank accounts belonging to various individuals and companies allegedly involved in illegal foreign exchange transactions.

In response to the regulatory environment, OPay announced that it would take strict measures against customers violating its policy, which aligns with the Central Bank of Nigeria’s stance on cryptocurrency trading.