Diaspora Remittances: Mobile Payments Operators request CBN to reconsider position

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By Lydia Ngwakwe

Lagos, Dec. 25, 2020 The Association of Licensed Mobile Payments Operators (ALMPO) has appealed to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to reconsider its position and re-allow Naira payments in cash into accounts or wallets.

The ALMPO Chairman, Mr Jay Alabrabra, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Friday that the apex bank’s decision to restrict international remittances to USD payouts only was of great concern to Nigerians.

“The CBN’s decision to restrict international remittances to USD payouts only is the overarching concern of everyone.

“It certainly limits the number of Nigerian citizens that can conveniently access funds sent from the diaspora.

“I sincerely hope that CBN reconsiders its position on this, and re-allow Naira payments in cash or into accounts or wallets,” he said.

Alabrabra also said that the apex bank’s decision, which had caused serious worry for Mobile Money Operators, had challenged the Industry association to further engage with CBN on the issues.

The ALMPO chairman said that members had no specific details about what informed the apex bank’s decision but anticipated that it could be a temporary measure in line with the decision to require payout in USD.

NAN reports that CBN recently gave additional operational guidelines for the receipt of diaspora remittances .

The new guidelines now stop International Money Transfer Operators (IMTO) from sending money to Mobile Money Operators and also stopped the integration of payment services providers to IMTO accounts.

It also stopped switches and processors from receiving foreign remittances in Naira.

It directed payment service providers to cease integrating their systems with IMTOs going forward and must prevent commingling of remittances with other legitimate transactions.

All IMTOs are required to immediately disclose to beneficiaries that they exercise discretion to receive transfer in foreign currency cash or directly into their domiciliary accounts.

A central reporting portal for all foreign remittances to be managed by the Nigerian Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS) is currently under development to improve visibility of foreign remittance flows.

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