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CBN’s Ban on Opay, Palmpay and other Fintech New Accounts Sparks Customer Panic

The Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) decision to halt new customer onboarding by prominent fintech firms like OPay, Palmpay, Kuda Bank, and Moniepoint has triggered concerns among bank customers across Nigeria.

The directive, aimed at ensuring robust Know-Your-Customer (KYC) processes within fintech companies, has been met with mixed reactions. While the Bank Customers Association of Nigeria supports the move, some customers fear for the safety of their funds and financial transactions.

The CBN’s action follows intensified scrutiny of fintechs amid concerns over potential loopholes for money laundering and terrorism financing. Last week, top executives from several fintech firms were summoned to Abuja for discussions on KYC-related issues, indicating heightened regulatory oversight.

The President of the Bank Customers Association of Nigeria emphasized the importance of strict regulatory compliance across all financial institutions to safeguard the integrity of Nigeria’s financial system.

In response to the directive, some fintech companies have paused new account creations, awaiting further instructions from the CBN. This has raised questions among customers about the security of their accounts and transactions.

Despite concerns, the CBN remains committed to its goal of achieving 95% financial inclusion among adults by 2024, a target in which fintechs have played a significant role.

Meanwhile, customers have taken to social media platforms like X (formerly Twitter) and Facebook to express their anxieties and seek clarity on the situation. Some are considering transferring their funds to alternative platforms amid the regulatory changes.

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