Abuja, Lagos PoS agents excluded as CBN approves 5 banks for cash swap project

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has listed five banks as the approved financial institutions to partake in the cash swap program designed to enable customers in interior parts of the country to swap their old notes for new ones.

The apex bank has also stated that Point-of-Sales (PoS) operators who will be deployed as agents in Lagos state and Abuja have been excluded from partaking in the program which will have these agents deployed to all local government areas in the country.

According to a report by the Punch, only five banks have been approved by the CBN to engage in the programme. They are Access Bank Plc, Zenith Bank Plc, United Bank for Africa Plc, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, and First City Monument Bank.

Recall the CBN launched the Cash Swap Programme yesterday, January 23, 2023, as a means to reach out to the grassroots residents that have limited access to financial products to enable them to bring in their old notes before the January 31 deadline date.

The CBN’s decision to launch the cash swap programme comes amid the commercial bank’s failure to make the new naira notes available despite threats of sanctions.

Bank customers across the country have complained of their inability to access the new notes from the bank’s ATMs and even during over-the-counter transactions.

The CBN, in a ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ document, noted that “Not all agents can participate. This is open to only selected agents profiled by the Super agent/Mobile Money Operator/bank and submitted to the Central Bank of Nigeria and participating banks (Access, Zenith, UBA, First, FCMB).”

“Selected agents in all the 36 states (except Lagos state and FCT, Abuja). Lagos and Abuja agents are excluded from this.”

The document also stated that before an interested party can be approved as an agent, some information like the individual’s name, BVN number, and operator’s name are required before the new notes will be released.

The operators (Super agent/Mobile Money Operator/Bank) must have pre-registered the agent with the bank where they have an account (one of the five approved banks).

The approved agent will now be certified to carry out the cash swap transactions with customers with express supervision from the Super-agent/Mobile Money Operator/Bank.