The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said in its recently published regulatory framework for mobile money services, saying it will not adopt the model in which telecommunications companies are the drivers.
The Bank in the framework titled, ‘Regulatory framework for mobile money services In Nigeria’ said, “This regulatory framework addresses business rules governing the operation of mobile money services, and specifies basic functionalities expected of any mobile money service and solution in Nigeria.
“It identifies the participants and defines their expected roles and responsibilities in providing mobile money services in the system. In addition, it sets the basis for the regulation of services offered at different levels and by the participants.
“The CBN recognises the importance of Mobile Network Operators in the operations of mobile money services and appreciates the criticality of the infrastructure they provide. However, the telco-led model (where the lead initiator is an MNO) shall not be operational in Nigeria.
“Its exclusion will enable the CBN have full control of monetary policy operations, minimise risks and ensure that the offerings of financial services are driven by organisations that have been licensed by the CBN to do so.”
The framework highlighted only two acceptable models for the implementation of mobile money services: bank-led – bank and/or its consortium as lead initiator – and non-bank-led – a corporate organisation duly licensed by the CBN as lead initiator.
However, the apex bank said telecommunication companies still play the important role of providing the infrastructure to drive the exchange of messages for mobile payments.
According to the framework, the regulators for this new regulatory framework are the CBN and the Nigerian Communications Commission.