We reported last Friday that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the country’s apex bank, instructed Nigerian financial institutions to cease having crypto related transactions. The bank ordered the institutions to close immediately, all accounts of persons or entities involved in cryptocurrency transactions within their systems. Breaching this directive will have consequences the institutions would not like.
Following this directive, Providus Bank announced closing its virtual accounts. These virtual accounts are used by many Nigerian fintech companies. Many of these fintechs whose partnership with the bank has now been halted (following the closing of the virtual accounts) are involved in cryptocurrency investments – be in buying, selling, or converting into naira, the country’s currency.
The bank in a statement said: “We wish to announce that our virtual payment services are currently unavailable. In the meantime, customers are advised to use alternative payment options.”
Following the announcement, PiggyVest, a fintech company in partnership with Providus Bank, urged its customers in a statement to login to their accounts and get their new virtual account details. The statement read: “We received communication from our virtual account provider that the existing Providus virtual accounts are currently inactive. Please login to your account to get your new virtual account details.”
PiggyVest’s customers were assigned Wema Bank accounts. This means that the company as soon as possible switched to Wema Bank.
Monnify, an online payment gateway, assured its customers they would have new account numbers to replace the Providus issued ones before Wednesday. Its statement read: “We would ask that you don’t panic and rest assured that you would be able to access all your funds as we are currently working with the bank to reconcile the funds in their position for availability and a graceful exit. We believe as soon as tomorrow but no later than Wednesday we will be back with a new partner bank.”
Trove Finance, a stock micro-investment platform, was also affected. The company in a tweet today said that new account numbers have been be issued. All users have to do is to log into the trove app, navigate to their wallet, and fund using Wema Bank NUBAN provided in the application.
Nigeria in focus:
Population: 200.9 million (2019)
GDP: $448.12 billion (2019)
GDP Per Capita: $2,229 (2019)