The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has released a new regulatory template guiding all forms of electronic payments and collections for public and private sectors in the country.
The apex bank stated that the monetary policy measure, which was taken furtherance of its powers under enabling Act 2007, was a revision of the Guidelines on Electronic Payment of Salaries, Pensions, Suppliers and Taxes in Nigeria (2014).
Specifically, it pointed out that the regulation was intended to guide the end-to-end electronic payment of salaries, pensions and other remittances, suppliers and revenue collections nationwide.
The bank stated further that the objective of the regulation was to fully align with the core objectives of the National Payments System Vision 2020 (PSV2020) to ensure the availability of safe, effective and efficient mechanisms for conveniently making and receiving all types of payments from any location and at any time, through multiple electronic channels.
In addition, the regulatory banking institution projected that compliance with the latest regulation would reduce the time and costs of transactions, minimise leakages in revenue receipts and at the same time provide reliable audit trails, thereby ensuring that the Nigerian Payments System aligns with international best practices.
According to the apex bank, the new regulation is set out to provide all stakeholders with the operational procedures that guide end-to-end electronic payment for the public and private sectors in the country.
Expatiating further on the spoke of the regulation, the CBN stated that it applied to all CBN-regulated entities operating in Nigeria and mandates adoption, implementation and compliance with the directives on end-to-end electronic payments of all forms of salaries, pensions and other remittances, suppliers, revenue collections.
It stated further that the regulation also covered payments and collections’ including but not limited to taxes, levies, penalties, recoveries, assessments, and the disbursement of funds for social programmes payments bills, honorarium, scholarships, allowances, etc.
Section 4.2.1 of the latest regulation listed CBN-regulated stakeholders comprised all financial institutions, Payments Service Providers and other entities licensed and regulated by the CBN which includes, but not limited to Deposit Money Banks (DMBs), Other Financial Institutions (OFIs) and Mobile Money Operators (MMOs).
The stakeholdlers were expected to promote the adoption of end-to-end electronic payments by all stakeholders covered by this Regulation; provide payers and beneficiaries with appropriate accounts with DMBs, OFIs or any other approved channel for receiving payments such as mobile money/electronic wallet, subject to the CBN’s approved KYC limits; and process electronic payment instructions in accordance with subsisting payments system and clearing system rules.
Other responsibilities of the DMBs, OFIs, MMOs and relevant staheolders in the e-payment space are to publish customer service/ contact centres details via multiple media channels and maintain customer service contact centres, to promptly attend to all electronic payment enquiries and challenges within stipulated timelines; and report of customer complaints, indicating resolution status; make available any or combination of the following data sets, as may be applicable, along with the mandatory returns to the CBN, on a monthly basis or as may be otherwise specified.
The apex bank warned that non-compliance with the regulation would attract appropriate sanctions as provided in the regulation.
It clarified further: “Any DMB, OFI or MMO that fails to discharge the responsibilities under Section 4.2.1 as detailed in ‘Schedule 1’ of this Regulation shall be penalised as provided in the Schedule. 5.2.
“Any PSSP that fails to discharge the responsibilities under Section 4.2.2 as detailed in ‘Schedule 2’ of this Regulation shall be penalised as provided in the Schedule”, the apex bank added.