Host(s):

There are key things and activities that regulate the conduct of mobile money operators and bank agents in Nigeria. Here are things you need to know about all forms of requirements needed of you as an operator and as an agent.

This applies to all operators, not just bank-led operators.

  • Valid means of identification that must be government issued. E.g. National identification card, Voters card, driver’s license or international passport.
  • Bank verification number.
  • Minimum of three-months statement of account.
  • Utility bill.
  • Completion and endorsement of agent acquisition forms.
  • One passport photograph.
It is important to note that requirements from operators may differ. For instance, some banks will only onboard agents who have existing businesses with high patronage while others require certain amount of capital to be invested before one can be signed up as an agent.

Some operators charge a fee to become a mobile money operator, e.g Paga. But most do not require you to pay any fee. Most banks do not require you to pay any fee to become a mobile money agent.

  • Your regular Current or Savings account: Many people choose to use their regular savings or current account in cases where they already have an existing account. For bank led operators, you must have an account with the bank you want to become an agent for. For non-bank-led operators, your account with any bank will do (excluding microfinance banks).
  • Current or savings Agent account: This is a special bank account dedicated to agency banking. For banks that are fully into agency banking, when an agent is onboarded, the bank creates a special agent account. Most times, these agent banking accounts have lower account charges compared to your regular account. Access bank, FCMB, GTB, Keystone Bank and Sterling Bank currently offer special agent accounts.
  • Agent wallet account: This is a special kind of wallet dedicated to the agent operations. This type of account is mostly opened with non bank-led operators. Your agent wallet is most times tied to your bank account of choice for easy funding. When the wallet has been opened, a dashboard is created every time you log in to the operator application, where you can see all of the activities you carry out on the platform.

Yes! Account charges vary from bank to bank.  For current accounts, there are charges like COT, Stamp duty, SMS charge and account maintenance charge. For savings accounts, there are charges like Stamp duty and SMS charges. However, in cases where your bank has created a special agent banking account tied to your name, such accounts are not charged like regular bank accounts. Some concessions are granted to such accounts. Agent wallets are far cheaper to maintain, as there are no charges like COT, Stamp Duty on deposit and account maintenance charges. As an agent, you need to be aware of these charges and ensure you incorporate it into your fees.

No license is required to be a mobile money or bank agent. All you have to do is provide the documentary requirements specified to register as an agent.

 

  • Verifiable physical address: To offer all types of agent services, the CBN requires that  you have a verifiable physical address that the operator can trace you to - as this is part of the required KYC verification.  This can be your residential address.
   
  • Operational location To offer some services (like bills pay, sports betting wallet cash in, account/wallet opening, Micro credit/insurance/pension) you do not need a physical address to operate, although it's best if you have one.
  However, to offer services like CICO and Wallet withdrawal & deposit, the CBN requires that you have a verifiable physical location to operate from. You can also be a roaming agent to be able to reach out to more potential customers but not at the detriment of losing or permanently leaving your physical location. In other words, you should be traceable to a particular address/location. Your operational location (or business location) can be different from your residential address. This might seem like a lot for starters (especially those who want to start doing CICO & wallet withdrawal/deposit), however, in module 5, we will share some hacks you can adopt to get a location to start the business from wherever you are.

Yes! you can establish and operate as many locations as you want. Many agents today have multiple outlets and all their outlets are doing so well. We will touch more on this during module 5.

  • No. You don't need a registered business name to start as a mobile money and bank agent. However, to use a corporate business account as your agent account, you need to have a registered business.
  • If you have a vision to expand your business it is better to ensure to get registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) - even if as a business name.

Back