Business

Don’t Trade In Crypto- Opay, PalmPay, Others Warn Customers

Four fintech companies—Opay, Moniepoint, PalmPay, and Paga—communicated this directive to their clientele on Friday.

By Karo Oghenetega

Nigerian fintech firms have cautioned their users against engaging in cryptocurrency or any virtual currency transactions through their platforms, with a warning to suspend accounts found participating in such activities.

Four fintech companies—Opay, Moniepoint, PalmPay, and Paga—communicated this directive to their clientele on Friday.

The Central Bank of Nigeria’s recent action halted the onboarding of new customers by major fintech players such as Kuda, Opay, PalmPay, and Moniepoint, citing an ongoing audit of their Know-Your-Customer processes amid concerns over money laundering and terrorism financing.

Prior to the CBN’s intervention, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had secured a court order to freeze over 1,146 bank accounts belonging to individuals and entities allegedly involved in illicit foreign exchange transactions.

OPay, in its Friday notice, emphasized its adherence to the CBN’s position on cryptocurrency trading and pledged strict enforcement against policy violators.

“In compliance with the CBN directive, please note that OPay prohibits any cryptocurrency and all virtual currency trading. Any account engaging in such activities will be closed, and customer information will be shared with regulatory authorities.

“Please ensure that your account does not involve any cryptocurrency or any other virtual currency transaction,” the fintech firm warned.

In a similar move, Paga, a fintech firm that has processed transactions worth $32bn in 15 years of operation, said in an email to its customers,  “As a Paga account holder, please ensure that your account is not used for crypto and virtual currency transactions. Paga accounts in violation of this regulation will be blocked.”

PalmPay, another major player in an emailed statement said, “We strongly advise against using your PalmPay account for transactions involving cryptocurrencies or any other virtual assets. Please be advised that failure to comply with these regulations may result in the suspension of your account.

In Lagos on Thursday, Tosin Eniolorunda, the founder and CEO of Moniepoint, urged participants in cryptocurrency peer-to-peer (P2P) transactions to cease their activities, pointing to the financial sector’s ban on such transactions.

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