CBN Reviews Guidelines on International Money Transfer

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has reviewed the guidelines on international monetary transfer services. The review, according to the bank, was carried out in order to accommodate inbound as well as the outbound money transfer services that was introduced recently. The 19-page document titled: ‘Guidelines on International Money Transfer Services in Nigeria, obtained on the CBN’s website yesterday, stated that all inbound money transfer to Nigeria would be disbursed to beneficiaries who operate a bank account, mobile money wallets with the agent or through ATM.

Also, the central bank noted that the maximum allowable cash withdrawals for inbound money transfer shall not be more than $500, adding that any amount in excess of $500 would be paid through an account. However, where the beneficiary does not have a bank account or mobile money wallet, payments would be made upon the provision of a satisfactory or acceptable means of identifications. It put the allowable limit of outbound money transfer per transactions at $2,000 or its equivalent. But this is subject to periodic review by the CBN.

 “No person or institution shall operate international money transfer services unless such person/institution has been duly licensed by the CBN. A financial product involving international money transfer that is not duly registered with the CBN is illegal.“An indigenous money transfer services operator (MTSO) who provides regional and/or global money transfer service and who wishes to engage a foreign technical partner shall obtain the prior approval of the CBN,” it added.Furthermore, the banking sector regulator pointed out that a technical partner must be a registered entity, licensed in its home country to carry on international money transfer services, have a minimum net worth of $10 million, as contained in its current audited financial statement, or as may be determined by the CBN from time to time; should be well established in money transfer services with a verifiable track record or operations among others.

 “Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) are prohibited from operating as international money transfer service operators, but can act as agents except with express approval of the CBN.“The provision of Bank and Other Financial Institutions Act (BOFIA) on the prohibition of employment of certain persons in banks shall also apply to international money transfer services operators. “In line with the BOFIA, all the conditions stipulating the exclusion of certain individuals from the management of banks shall apply to the management of international money transfer services providers,” CBN added.