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KYC: OPay Sets March 1 Deadline to Freeze Accounts without NIN



KYC: OPay Sets March 1 Deadline to Freeze Accounts without NIN

In compliance with the directive of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), mobile payment operator, OPay, has said it would block all customers’ accounts not connected to the National identity Number (NIN) of their owners.

According to the company, customers who have not complied with the directive, which forms a critical part of its know your customer (KYC) requirements, have until March 31 2023 to do so or be blocked.

OPay disclosed this during an interactive session with media stakeholders in Lagos on Wednesday.

Its Director of Partnerships, Ikponmwosa Odiase, said that already, OPay’s tier 1 account owners have been barred from performing transactions on its mobile app until they update it with their NIN.

He added that the fintech, in addition to the ongoing updates by existing customers, has also made NIN a mandatory requirement for all accounts opening.

He said: “Everyone who has a tier one account must now link with NIN before their transaction can continue. You cannot move forward without doing it.

“The second thing is for new customers, you are going to start with NIN; we are implementing that now. We are pulling information from your NIN into your wallet. We save you the trouble of typing your name. We have a timeline of March 1st, wherein anybody not compliant will be locked out,”

“Any fraudulent account will be yanked off our platform. There must be a correlation between your face and the picture in your NIN,” he said.

Odiase further stated that the new KYC system will help the country address the issue of fraud, which has been a major challenge in the financial industry.

According to him, the fintechs, banks, CBN and other stakeholders are now collaborating to achieve this.

“We all know that fraud has been quite prevalent. The fraudsters are not sleeping and the industry is now rising to the challenge,” he said.

The OPay Director, however, observed that the exercise may affect the ongoing drive to deepen financial inclusion in the country as many people who currently have wallets would lose it if they are unable to link it with NIN.

“This might drag us back a little in financial inclusion because as a mobile money operation, part of our mandates is to drive financial inclusion. That is why ab initio, there was no need for NIN or BVN for the tier one account, believing that those in the rural areas would not have access to some of those things.

“But we believe things have changed, so many people have NIN and BVN now. Having BVN means you are financially included, but with NIN, you might not be financially included,” he said.

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