Activate rural banking, CBN directs PSBs

Marcus Amudipe
Marcus Amudipe


The Central Bank of Nigeria has instructed Payment Service Banks to target those who are financially excluded by operating primarily in rural and unbanked areas.

According to the sector’s supervisory framework for Payment Service Banks, PSBs must have at least 25% of their financial service touch points in rural areas that are periodically designated by the central bank.

Additionally, they must partner with providers of card schemes. They can also place ATMs in some of these locations, although such cards would not be permitted for transactions in foreign currencies; install Point of Sale equipment and have the freedom to work with banking agents.

The PSBs have also been given permission to establish agent networks with the prior consent of the CBN, reach out to customers through other platforms, including electronic ones, and set up coordinating centers in groups of outlets to monitor and regulate the operations of the various financial service touch points and banking agents.

The CBN also authorized the PSBs to provide payment and remittance services (including inbound cross-border personal remittances) through a variety of channels within Nigeria and to sell foreign currencies realized from inbound cross-border personal remittances to authorized foreign exchange dealers. These deposits from individuals and small businesses will be protected by the deposit insurance scheme.

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