NIGERIA: CBN okays three payment service banks to boost financial inclusion

To boost financial inclusion and the payment system by increasing access to deposit products and payment services through a secured technology-driven environment, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has issued Approvals-in-Principle (AIPs) to three payment service banks (PSBs).

The three lucky institutions are Hope PSB, Money Master PSB and 9PSB.The disclosure was made yesterday in Abuja by the Director, Corporate Communications Department of the CBN, Isaac Okorafor, who explained that the approvals were precursor to their being granted licences to operate as fully-fledged PSBs.

According to the spokesman, the decision to issue the AIPs to the applicants followed their satisfaction of laid down conditions.However, reactions have continued to trail the imposition of additional charges on cash deposits and withdrawals by financial institutions.

The monetary policy authorities had announced extra cost of three per cent for withdrawals and two per cent for deposits on amounts above N500,000 for individual accounts.Similarly, corporate accounts are to attract five per cent processing fees for withdrawals, while lodgments beyond N3 million attract three per cent.

But the experts, including bankers and accountants, who reacted to the development, said the decision was good for the health of the cashless policy and anti-graft war of the current administration.

To Emmanuel Olaoluwa Oladepo, a banker in Ibadan, the move is in line with the cashless policy of the apex bank.A chartered accountant, Adewale Adedokun, observed that the policy would reduce cash transactions and increase bank and government revenues.Also, a bank executive, Kabir Ayinde Tukur, submitted that the policy would encourage a cashless environment and help fight corruption.