Agents are not permitted to use Point of Sale (PoS) terminals designed for merchants to conduct cash-in and cash-out transactions, according to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The CBN urged agents against doing transactions for which a receipt or acknowledgement could not be produced, among other restrictions.
In a circular releasing the Exposure Draft of the Regulatory Framework for Agent Banking in Nigeria, the apex bank made this information public.
The Circular signed by Musa I. Jimoh, Director, Payments System Management Department also stressed that agents are not allowed to carry out transaction in foreign currency.
Agent banking is a financial inclusion service which the bank has adopted to extend retail reach across all segments.
This service include First Monie, EcoBank express, UBA Moni, Zenith mobile money, among several others.
According to the CBN, the agent banking initiative has resulted in the proliferation of financial services agents across Nigeria, resulting in a significant and growing portion of financial transactions being conducted through the agents.
“This has necessitated the review of agent banking regulations to streamline activities in agent banking while ensuring that appropriate risk mitigation measures are taken by stakeholders”, it said.
Section 8.3 of the guidelines which highlighted prohibited activities for agents stated: “An agent shall not accept deposit or allow withdrawal above an amount which shall be prescribed, from time to time by the bank.
“Use the wrong option for transactions e.g agents shall not use the purchase option PoS Terminals for cash in and cash out transactions.”
Others are Agent banks are not allowed to provide, render, or hold itself out to be providing or rendering any banking service which is not specifically permitted in the contract.
“Open accounts, grant loans or carry out any appraisal function for purposes of opening an account or granting of a loan or any other facility except as may be permitted by any other written law to which the agent is subject.
“Undertake cheque deposit and encashment of cheques. Accept deposit or allow withdrawal above an amount which shall be prescribed, from time to time, by the bank.
“The agent bank employee also should not be a staff of financial institution and also provide cash advances.”