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Nigeria: Capital base for payments firms gets a refresh

CBN sets New Capital Base for Payment Firms. Increase Payment Terminal Service Provider license, but retain the license fee of others.

On Monday, a circular titled "New license requirements for the payments system" was released by the Central Bank of Nigeria. The Circular document stated a new standard for payment firms in the country - a new capital requirement.

Acquiring a Payment Terminal Service Provider license, according to CBN, requires N100 million shareholders' funds unimpaired by losses.

Some of the existing licenses, however, did not get an upgrade and were retained. This include:

  1. super agent's license at N50 million
  2. Switching and Processing firm's license at N2 billion
  3. Mobile Money Operator's license at N2 billion
  4. Payment Solution Services at N250 million
  5. Payment Solution Service Provider at N100 million.

It is important to note that applying for a license comes with a compulsory non-refundable fee in the region of N 100,000.

According to the capital requirements, payments firm must have an escrow of refundable N2bn into the CBN PSP share capital deposit account. The deposit for escrow must be in full (one lump sum) and must be made in the company's name applying for a license (not an individual or related company).

According to the CBN, the escrow fund will be invested in treasury bills, subject to the availability of treasury instruments, which would be refunded accordingly.

Nigeria in focus

GDP: $448.12 billion compared to Pakistan's $278.222 billion in 2019

Population: 200,963,599 compared to Pakistan's 216,565,318 in 2019

GDP per capita: $2,299 compared to Pakistan's $1,284 in 2019