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May 9, 2024
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Government mandates POS operators to register with CAC

In a bid to tackle the rising menace of kidnapping and curb fraudulent practices, the Federal Government has announced a mandatory registration directive for Point-of-Sale (PoS) operators across the nation. The move aims not only to enhance security but also to facilitate the apprehension of individuals involved in ransom payments from kidnap incidents.

The Registrar-General of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Hussaini Magaji, made the announcement during the official launch of the CAC registration process for fintech agents and merchants in Abuja on Wednesday. This initiative coincided with the unveiling of a 24-hour service center to expedite the registration process and provide swift responses to inquiries and approvals.

Under the directive, PoS operators are required to register as corporate entities with the CAC before July 7, 2024. Failure to comply with the registration mandate will result in stringent actions from security agencies, as emphasized by Magaji.

The decision to enforce mandatory registration aligns with legal provisions outlined in the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) 2020 and the 2013 guidelines issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on agent banking. PoS terminals, which accounted for a significant portion of fraud incidents in 2023, have been a focal point of concern for regulatory bodies.

Recent measures by the CBN, including the suspension of onboarding new customers by major fintech firms and warnings against cryptocurrency trading, further underscore the government’s commitment to financial security and regulatory compliance.

Speaking at the event, Hussaini Magaji underscored the importance of the registration process in safeguarding businesses and strengthening the economy. He emphasized that the initiative would not only deter criminal activities but also ensure accountability and facilitate access to essential services such as loans.

However, the directive has sparked mixed reactions among PoS operators. While some expressed concerns over the additional burden imposed by the registration process, others viewed it as a necessary step towards standardization and improved security.

Sarafa Fasasi, the National President of the Association of Mobile Money and Bank Agents in Nigeria, raised concerns about the potential impact on financial inclusion, particularly for agents in rural communities. He questioned the rationale behind mandating CAC registration for agents operating under super agent arrangements.

Despite the apprehensions voiced by some operators, Victor Olojo, the immediate past president of the association, voiced support for the government’s initiative. He emphasized the need for stringent measures to ensure the integrity of the financial system and weed out unqualified operators.

As the deadline for registration approaches, stakeholders await further developments, with the government reiterating its commitment to enforcing compliance and enhancing security in the financial sector.

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