The recent media parley held in Lagos on January 24, 2024, Opay, a prominent digital payment company, declared that as of March 1, 2024, any account not linked with the National Identification Number (NIN) will be subject to blocking. This revelation came from Opay’s Director of Partnerships, Ikponmwosa Odiase, who also disclosed that tier-1 account holders are currently barred from transactions on the platform until they provide their NIN.
This move is in accordance with the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) recent directive to strengthen Know Your Customer (KYC) practices in the financial sector. Odiase emphasized the collaboration between Fintech companies, banks, CBN, and other stakeholders to minimize fraud, a challenge faced by the financial system.
Opay is actively enforcing these measures by making it mandatory for both new and existing customers to provide their NIN. Odiase assured customers that fraudulent accounts will be promptly removed from the platform, showcasing a proactive stance against illicit activities.
To further enhance security, Opay is deploying a new facial verification system supported by backend checks against NIN and BVN (Bank Verification Number) information. This addresses concerns about the efficacy of the current facial verification process.
While acknowledging potential impacts on financial inclusion, Opay recognizes the necessity of these measures to combat fraud and comply with CBN directives. The recent CBN mandate requiring bank accounts without BVN and NIN to be placed on “Post No Debit” by April 2024 further underscores the importance of these KYC practices.
Opay aims to fortify platform security by linking accounts with NIN and BVN, thereby verifying customer identities and reducing the risk of fraudulent activity. The platform is also committed to protecting customer deposits from scams and unauthorized transactions, aligning with the broader push for stronger KYC practices within the financial system.
Despite the March 1 deadline potentially affecting some users, Opay emphasizes its dedication to long-term financial inclusion, believing that the benefits of a secure platform outweigh any temporary challenges. Stay tuned for updates as Opay continues to implement these stringent KYC measures in line with industry regulations.
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