NBE Issues Directive to License, Authorize Payment Instrument Issuers - National Bank

NBE Issues Directive to License, Authorize Payment Instrument Issuers

Adds Ababa: March 31, 2020. National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) has issued a new directive that is highly important to promote the safety and efficiency of the payment system.
The directive; “Licensing and Authorization of Payment Instrument Issuers Directive No. ONPS/01/2020” shall enter into force as of 1st day of April 2020.
The directive, signed by the Governor of National Bank of Ethiopia, H.E Dr. Yinager Dessie, gives prominence to innovative payment instruments believing that they are important to increase the use of financial services.
Composed of six parts and twenty articles, the directive, is cognizant of the fact that establishing clear and enabling regulatory requirements are necessary to protect the interest of users of payment instruments.
According to the directive a person other than the licensed financial institutions, shall submit a complete application to NBE to get a license to issue a payment instrument.
As part of the application process, the National Bank, may request for a preliminary meeting and demonstration of the intended payment instrument to be issued, its related services, products as well as operation.
Based on requests made and written approval of the National Bank, a payment instrument issuer may be allowed to provide cash-in and cash-out; local money transfers including domestic remittances, load to card or bank account, transfer to card or bank account; domestic payments including purchase from physical merchants, bill payments; over-the-counter transactions; and inward international remittances services.
Besides, based on written approval of the National Bank, a licensed payment instrument issuer under full responsibility of and written outsourcing agreement with a regulated financial institutions and pension funds may be allowed to provide; micro-saving products, micro-credit products, micro-insurance products; or pension products.
In a bid to mitigate associate risks and maintain reliability of payment instruments, the National Bank of Ethiopia shall oversee payment issuers, their systems, agents and outsourcing counter parties; according to the directive.
The directive is accessed on NBE official website; www.nbe.gov.et.

The National Bank of Ethiopia was established in 1963 by proclamation 206 of 1963 and began operation in January 1964. Prior to this proclamation, the Bank used to carry out dual activities, i.e. commercial banking and central banking.

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