By Chinwendu Obienyi
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has authorised Payment Service Banks (PSBs) across the country to sell foreign currencies realised from inbound cross-border personal remittances to authorised foreign exchange dealers.
This was even as the apex bank has ordered PSBs to accept deposits from individuals and small businesses, to be covered by the deposit insurance scheme; carry out payments and remittances (including inbound cross-border personal remittances) services through various channels within Nigeria.
The CBN stated this in a released supervisory framework for PSBs. The framework among other things empowered the PSB operators to sell foreign currencies, especially dollars, to authorised foreign exchange dealers.
The framework said that the operators are expected to leverage on technology to provide services that would be easily accessed by the unbanked population and those who are in hard-to- reach areas of the country.
The CBN also added that the framework focused on corporate governance, risk management of the PSBs, and safety of funds to the consumers of PSBs.
“This framework also aims to ensure that sound risk management practices are embedded in the operations of the PSBs. The PSBs are required to comply with relevant extant regulations and CBN’s prudential guidelines and circulars which are issued periodically.
PSBs are to operate mostly in the rural areas and unbanked locations targeting financially excluded persons, with not less than 25 per cent financial service touch points in such rural areas as defined by the CBN from time to time. They are to enter into direct partnership with card scheme operators. Such cards shall not be eligible for foreign currency transactions; they can also deploy ATMs in some of these areas; deploy Point of Sale devices and be at liberty to operate through banking agents”, the CBN said.
The PSBs have also been authorised to roll out agent networks with the prior approval of the CBN; use other channels including electronic platforms to reach-out to its customers and establish coordinating centres in clusters of outlets to superintend and control the activities of the various financial service touch points and banking agents.