Overview of the Ban Lift

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has officially lifted the ban on new account openings for prominent fintech companies including OPay, Moniepoint, Kuda, PalmPay, and Paga. The restriction, imposed in April 2024, was part of a broader effort to address fraud within the industry.

Background and Compliance Efforts

The CBN's directive in April 2024 required the aforementioned fintechs to halt onboarding new customers. This move came as a response to rising concerns over fraudulent activities and unauthorized transactions.
In response, these fintech firms ramped up their Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures to meet the stringent standards set by the CBN. This included implementing more rigorous verification processes to ensure compliance and secure customer data.

Measures Taken by Fintechs

"It is imperative to reiterate that OPay strictly adheres to the approved KYC verification processes and urges our esteemed customers to ensure that the due verification processes are followed for all accounts and all requirements are completely fulfilled," read a statement on OPay's social media handles.

Regulatory Meetings and Agreements:
In May 2024, the fintech companies met with the National Security Adviser (NSA), the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), and the CBN to discuss lifting the ban. During these discussions, authorities mandated the restriction of peer-to-peer crypto transactions and required the fintechs to update customer details, demanding bank verification or national identity numbers for all tiered accounts.

Strengthened KYC Processes

The stricter KYC regulations followed a December 2023 directive that required valid identification for all account types. This directive aimed to enhance the KYC processes that were initially relaxed to promote financial inclusion.

Implementation by Fintechs:

  • PalmPay: Introduced facial verification and began physically visiting merchants to verify their addresses.
  • Kuda: Requested customers to upload proof of their home addresses.
  • OPay: Implemented physical address verification for all merchants using OPay Business, with staff visiting locations to assist with the process. Merchants were also advised to verify the identity of personnel conducting the verification to prevent impersonation or fraud.

Impact and Future Outlook

The ban had caused significant disruptions for the neobanks, affecting their ability to expand their customer base. However, the lifting of the ban is expected to ease these operational challenges.
While the lifting of the ban is a positive development for the fintech sector, it also underscores the evolving and stringent regulatory environment in Nigeria. Fintech companies must continue to adapt to these regulatory demands to ensure compliance and foster trust within the financial ecosystem.


The CBN's decision to lift the ban on new account openings for OPay, Moniepoint, Kuda, PalmPay, and Paga marks a significant milestone in the Nigerian fintech landscape. As these companies resume their customer onboarding processes, they will need to maintain high standards of compliance and security to prevent future disruptions and continue contributing to financial inclusion and innovation in the region.