The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has granted an approval-in-principle [AIP] to Inlaks, the leading system integrator and foremost financial technology solutions provider in Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa, to operate as a super-agent in order to enhance financial inclusion strategy in Nigeria.
According to a release signed by the company’s MD/CEO, Femi Adeoti, Inlaks would work with the CBN and its partners to reach the underserved population and the financially excluded.
Adeoti commended the CBN for granting the license to the firm, adding that “the license will deliver numerous gains to the Nigerian economy by enhancing financial access, financial inclusion, sustainability and growth of the small and medium scale enterprises.
“The aim is to ensure that informal workers in Nigeria have access to affordable financial services through CBN’s agent network that will address social challenges in key areas such as health insurance, credit accessibility, savings, wage payment among others”, he said.
Inlaks would leverage on the Nigerian Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS)’ switching infrastructure to support inter-scheme Cash-in-Cash-out (CICO) at all its agent locations as approved under the CBN regulatory framework.
Inlaks‘ super-agency platform will be enabled to communicate with all its agents and will also have visibility of its agents’ transactions through integration with NIBSS according to the CBN framework.
According to the CBN super-agents framework, the agents are responsible for the management and monitoring of the activities of their agents only, and shall not hold electronic money value. They would keep information on the volume and value of transactions carried out for each type of service by each agent.
The framework further states that the volume and value of transactions should be made available to the principal to monitor effective compliance with set limits and establish other prudential measures in each case.
Measures such as onsite visits will be carried out to ensure that agents operate strictly within the requirements of the law, guidelines and the contract.
To reach the underserved, Inlaks has collaborated with the apex bank to implement a unified information technology platform for about 1000 Microfinance Banks (MFBs) in Nigeria.
The landmark project would be implemented under the auspices of the National Association of Microfinance Banks (NAMB).