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Central Bank of Nigeria Approves 17 Fintechs as Mobile Money Operators in Nigeria

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POS Business in Nigeria

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has granted licenses to 17 fintech startups to provide mobile money services in Nigeria.

The recent frustrations experienced by bank customers following the failure of several traditional bank apps as well as USSD codes have spurred a lot of Nigerians to resort to various fintech startups to carry out transactions.

These fintechs no doubt offered relief to Nigerians especially businesses at the time of unprecedented transaction failures by enabling the swift transfer of funds coupled with various juicy offers such as zero transfer charges, bonuses, daily rewards, etc.

Having noticed the large percentage of Nigerians using various fintechs to carry out daily transactions, the Central Bank of Nigeria deemed it fit to authorize fintech operators with existing facilities in order to better regulate them and ensure that citizens putting their hard-earned money in the hands of approved and trusted fintech operators.

The CBN also released a regulatory framework for agent banking operations, which includes several restrictions to mitigate risks in the financial sector.

In a 31-page document, the CBN dedicated section 8.3 to outline prohibited activities for agents. Investors King reports that one of the key restrictions in the guidelines is that agents must not use the purchase option on PoS terminals for cash-in and cash-out transactions.

The CBN also warned agents against transactions where a receipt or acknowledgment cannot be generated. The CBN observed that the agent banking initiative has led to the proliferation of financial service agents across Nigeria.

Check Out The CBN List of Approved Mobile Money Operators in Nigeria

1.) PalmPay

PalmPay is a fintech company that offers digital payment services for consumers and merchants. The fintech startup specializes in digital finance and also provides payment experience for consumers and businesses by making financial services. Their app is their formal financial account, and they build an online and offline payments ecosystem that brings digital products from marketplaces.

2.) Kongapay

Konga Pay is a secure payment method that allows its customers to pay for stuff without using debit cards. It works by Konga’s e-commerce technology integrating with the internet banking portals of major Nigerian banks.

3.) Xpress MTS Limited

Xpress MTS Limited is a subsidiary of Xpress holdings limited, which was granted a mobile money operator license by the CBN last year October. The fintech startup is building an ecosystem to enable people to digitally send and receive money with ease while creating simple financial access for everyone everywhere.

4.) Pagatech Limited

Pagatech Limited operates as a mobile payment company. The Company offers mobile payment services that enable users to send cash, purchase airtime credit, pay bills, and pay retailers. Pagatech serves customers in Nigeria.

5.) Abeg Technologies

Abeg Technologies is a mobile payment application that offers to pay bills, buy airtime, and send and receive money digitally. Abeg fully changed its name to “Pocket by Piggyvest” to emphasize its transition from a money transfer service to a social commerce platform (PocketApp).

6.) Chams Mobile Limited

Chams mobile limited is a fintech startup that is licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to provide Mobile Money Operations and Agency Banking services. The startup has a special savings wallet KEGOW that allows special savings, debit cards, and thrifts. The wallet is also available for individuals and businesses.

7.) Fortis Mobile Money

Fortis Mobile Money is licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to provide mobile payment services in Nigeria. It also provides a mobile wallet solution in Nigeria. Users can send/receive money, buy airtime for telecom lines, and make purchases at partner stores such as supermarkets, pharmacies, restaurants, hotels, etc from the wallet. They can pay bills and recharge cable TV subscriptions. Also allows them to book and pay for road transport.

8.) Parkway Projects Limited

Parkway is a leading financial technology provider creating modern banking experiences, proudly developed by Africans and delivered through Africa’s leading banks to businesses and individuals across the continent. Parkway provides simple, intuitive, end-to-end corporate, retail, and transaction banking solutions.

9.) Teasy mobile money

Teasy Mobile Money is a mobile financial platform, offering a virtual wallet to load money by visiting an agent location. Teasy Mobile Money serves in the B2C and B2B space in the FinTech market segments. Teasy Mobile Money’s competitors include Flutterwave, Interswitch, Nuvei, and OPay. Teasy Mobile Money ranks 29th among 50 active competitors.

10.) Nownow Digital Payments

NowNow Digital Payment Systems Ltd provides financial services to Consumers, Agents, and SMES. The company is licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria as a mobile Solutions Provider. NowNow is on a mission to help Africans get access to financial services.

11.) VTNetwork Limited

VTNetwork, which is doing business as VCASH, is a CBN-licensed payment operator that provides International money transfer services in Nigeria. The startup allows users to transfer money locally and internationally within capabilities in 140 countries.

12.) Opay

OPay is licensed by CBN, insured by the NDIC, and trusted by over 18 million users. The startup enables users to accomplish more with their money by providing smart financial services. OPay is a mobile money platform with an extensive range of services that merchants can offer to their clients. The goal of the company is to help unbanked people.

13.) Visual ICT Limited

Visual ICT Limited is a fast-growing Fintech Startup and a Mobile Financial Services Provider licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria to provide Mobile money services. Visual ICT works with all players in the financial services arena including the Central Bank of Nigeria, Commercial Banks, Telecommunications Operators, Technology Vendors, and Financial Services Applications Developers as well as Prepaid Bill Issuers and Switching Companies.

14.) Mkudi Nigeria Limited

M Kudi Nigeria Limited was established in 2009 for the exclusive purpose of providing Mobile Money Transfer Services to the Nigerian Public. M Kudi allows both unbanked and banked personnel to send money via their mobile device across Nigeria. Since going live, Mkudi has been building its partner network to include banks, telecommunication operators, and a robust, trustworthy Agent Network.

15.) Hedonmark Management Services

Hedonmark is a fintech startup that allows users to make payments from the comfort of their homes or on the go. It is also a solution provider, proffering professional and reliable back-office management solutions to small, medium, and corporate clients.

16.) Funds and Electronic Transfer (FETS) Limited

Funds & Electronic Transfer Solutions Limited is a Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) licensed mobile money operator. It has an online e-wallet system that offers easy money transfer, bill payment, top-up airtime, and other mobile payment services.

17.) eTranzact International Limited

eTranzact is Africa’s premier e-payments solution provider delivering electronic transaction switching and payment processing solutions across POS, web, mobile, ATMs, and Cards.

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Leatherback Set for International Growth as EFCC Drops all Fraud and Misconduct Allegations

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Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has dropped all allegations of fraud and misconduct against Leatherback, a leading financial services technology company, and the company’s CEO, Toyeeb Ibrahim Ibitade.

In November 2023, EFCC announced that it had been made aware of the possibility of fraudulent activities on the Leatherback platform, leading to an investigation into the company’s operations to establish the facts. Cooperating fully with EFCC and working transparently with the organisation’s officials to provide a forensic view of its operations, Leatherback was able to unequivocally prove its innocence, leading the EFCC to drop all allegations and take down all previous communications on its website and social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) around the matter.

Leatherback supported the EFCC investigation by making over 5,000 printed documents available to officials to enable as much clarity as possible. Leatherback also filed Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) in the UK and Nigeria.

According to Toyeeb Ibrahim Ibitade, CEO of Leatherback, “I am relieved to see the end of this arduous episode, but I am even more delighted to see that myself and Leatherback, as an organisation, have been completely cleared of all wrongdoing. With this episode firmly behind us, we are poised to accelerate our mission to provide a single access point that empowers individuals and businesses to be truly global, delivering best-in-class financial, payment, and commerce solutions that remove barriers to global growth and mobility for all citizens of the world.”

Headquartered in London, Leatherback is regulated in the United Kingdom, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Canada, India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Sri Lanka, enabling the platform to serve customers across a wide range of markets effectively. Tens of thousands of individuals and businesses already use the platform to support business and lifestyle opportunities every day. Leatherback is also FCA Authorised, PCI DSS Compliant, and ISO Certified.

About Leatherback

Leatherback offers financial services to businesses and individuals in multiple countries with no restrictions. Users can access up to 15 currencies from 21 countries, including NGN, GBP, INR, EUR, USD, and many other currencies. Users can also send and collect money locally and internationally, with invoicing, analytics, and permissions features available for businesses.

For more information, please visit: http://www.leatherback.co

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Carbon Acquires Vella Finance to Enhance SME Offerings

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Carbon - Investors King

Digital financial services provider Carbon has completed the acquisition of Vella Finance, a Nigerian fintech company specializing in serving small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The acquisition, announced through an official statement on Wednesday, signifies Carbon’s strategic move to bolster its SME offerings.

Although the financial details of the transaction were not disclosed, Carbon’s acquisition of Vella Finance, founded two years ago under its parent company, One Credit Limited, underscores its commitment to expanding its footprint in the fintech space.

Vella Finance’s expertise in AI-powered SME banking solutions particularly caught the attention of Carbon.

Through this acquisition, Carbon aims to leverage Vella Finance’s innovative technology to provide actionable insights from financial transactions to its SME customers.

Tolu Adedayo, co-founder and COO of Vella Finance, expressed enthusiasm about the integration, noting that several team members from Vella Finance have joined Carbon following the acquisition.

Adedayo further revealed that Vella Finance’s 8,000 SME customers would be transitioned to Carbon Business in the near future.

Chijioke Dozie, co-founder of Carbon, emphasized the alignment of values and vision between Carbon and Vella Finance, highlighting the potential for synergies and growth in the SME banking segment.

The acquisition marks a significant milestone for both companies as they aim to revolutionize financial services for SMEs in Nigeria.

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Flutterwave Set to Recover ₦19 Billion Illegally Transferred by POS Merchants

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Flutterwave - Investors King

Flutterwave, one of Africa’s leading fintech companies, is poised to undertake a substantial recovery effort following a High Court ruling granting it the authority to recover ₦19 billion illegally transferred by Point of Sale (POS) merchants.

The company plans to contact over 6,000 account holders across 35 banks and financial institutions to reclaim the funds.

The dispute arose in 2023 when Flutterwave discovered unauthorized transactions conducted by certain POS device merchants, prompting the temporary suspension of implicated accounts to prevent further irregularities.

While the incident didn’t result in the loss of customer funds, it exposed the vulnerability of the system to abuse.

A recent court ruling, known as a Mareva injunction, empowers Flutterwave to initiate the recovery process, targeting account holders who may have received funds from the unauthorized transactions.

This move is critical as the recipients may have already utilized the funds received.

In response to the court order, Flutterwave intends to engage with the relevant authorities to address the situation comprehensively.

It plans to communicate with the affected account holders through email, SMS, and WhatsApp messages, leveraging their respective contact information provided by the financial institutions involved.

The recovery effort underscores Flutterwave’s commitment to upholding financial integrity and protecting the interests of its customers.

The company’s proactive stance reflects the evolving challenges faced by fintech firms in ensuring secure and transparent transactions amidst the dynamic landscape of digital finance in Africa.

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