Business

FG Orders Registration Of PoS Operators Nationwide, Gives Ultimatum

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

By Karo Oghenetega

The Federal Government, via the Corporate Affairs Commission, has set a two-month registration deadline for Point of Sales companies to register their agents, merchants, and individuals with the commission, aligning with legal requirements and the directives of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

This agreement was reached during a meeting between Fintechs and the Registrar-General CAC, Hussaini Ishaq Magaji, in Abuja on Monday. Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System reports over 1.9 million PoS terminals deployed nationwide by merchants and individuals.

The CAC boss emphasized at the meeting that this measure aims to protect Fintech customers’ businesses and bolster the economy, citing support from Section 863, Subsection 1 of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, CAMA 2020, and the 2013 CBN guidelines on agent banking.

He clarified that the registration timeline, ending on July 7, 2024, is not targeting any specific groups or individuals but genuinely intends to provide business protection.

A statement by the commission read, “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.

“The agreement was reached today during a meeting between Fintechs and the Registrar-General, CAC, Hussaini Ishaq Magaji, in Abuja.”

This new directive arises amid growing concerns about fraud incidents involving POS terminals and the Central Bank of Nigeria’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 were responsible for 26.37% of fraud incidents in 2023.

Recently, the CBN halted major fintech firms like Kuda, Opay, PalmPay, and Moniepoint from accepting new customers and instructed them to caution their existing customers against cryptocurrency trading on their platforms. The CBN threatened to block any accounts found involved in such activities.

This move by the CBN is linked to an ongoing audit of the Know-Your-Customer process of fintechs, which have been under scrutiny due to concerns regarding money laundering and terrorism financing.

Before the CBN’s directive, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission obtained a court order to freeze at least 1,146 bank accounts owned by various individuals and companies allegedly engaged in illegal foreign exchange transactions.

In a notice issued on Friday, OPay stated its intention to take strict measures against customers who violate its policy, in line with the Central Bank of Nigeria’s stance on cryptocurrency trading.

The statement also mentioned that several speakers from the fintech industry pledged to collaborate with the commission to ensure the smooth implementation of the directive. However, some emphasized the importance of comprehensive and collective awareness campaigns to ensure the success of the initiative.

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