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Cash Swap: CBN Bars Abuja, Lagos PoS Operators

The Central Bank of Nigeria has excluded mobile money/Point of Sales agents in Abuja and Lagos from its newly launched cash swap programme, Switch Nigeria has learnt.

The development came as the January 31 deadline for the phasing out of the old N1,000, N500 and N200 notes approaches.

In a Frequently Asked Questions document released to selected agents and obtained by our correspondent on Monday, the CBN provided some guidelines for the cash swap programme.

According to the document, only five banks have been approved to engage in the programme. They are: Access Bank Plc, Zenith Bank Plc, United Bank for Africa Plc, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, and First City Monument Bank.

It read in part, “Not all agents can participate. This is open to only selected agents profiled by the super agent/MMO/bank and submitted to the Central Bank of Nigeria and participating banks (Access, Zenith, UBA, First, FCMB).”

On the number of states selected for the programme, it read, “Selected agents in all the 36 states (except Lagos state and FCT, Abuja). Lagos and Abuja agents are excluded from this.”

Switch Nigeria also learnt that the agents are restricted from using the new notes for their regular transactions, only for the programme.

On where the agents can get the new notes, the document added, “from one of these designated banks (Zenith, First Bank, Access, UBA, FCMB). However, you must have a bank account with that bank and your operators (super agent/MMO/bank) will have pre-registered you with the bank where you have an account.”

It added, “you must go to the bank you have informed operator (super agent/MMO/bank) of. That is where your agent details will be submitted to for verification when you get there to collect the new notes.”

Also, each agent’s name, BVN number, and operator’s name are required before the new notes will be released.

The document added that the bank would also verify the agent’s picture and finger print.

The document also noted that an agent is expected to have a record of the customer’s Know-Your-Customer information, which includes name, phone number, bank, account number and amount.

It was also noted that why there is no restriction on how much a customer can deposit, only N10,000 can be released per customer under the cash swap programme.

The CBN also urged the agents to open a bank account or wallet for customers with bank accounts.

Switch Nigeria also learnt that an agent can only get up to N500,000 new notes weekly for the programme.

Also, each agent is expected to record all transactions performed with the new notes and submit the record to the operator (super agent/MMO/bank).

the AMMBAN, noted that PoS agents were risking their lives in Kebbi to circulate the new notes.

He said, “Here in Kebbi State, the new notes are only in circulation within the Birnin Kebbi the state capital, and agents are doing their best to mop up the old notes, taking the risk of traveling with huge cash from rural areas to the state capital as most of the banks in Kebbi State has only one branch in the state capital while the few banks exist in the selected local governments are over-crowded.”

The AMMBAN president had earlier told the Switch Nigeria that the issue of insecurity would likely affect the operations of some PoS agents, noting that some measures were also in place to safeguard the agents and the cash.

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