How to Become a Licensed Fintech App in Nigeria

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The Nigerian fintech landscape has witnessed an unprecedented surge in innovation and growth, transforming the way individuals and businesses interact with financial services.

As the industry continues to evolve, establishing a licensed fintech app in Nigeria has become an increasingly attractive proposition for entrepreneurs and tech enthusiasts.

However, navigating the regulatory framework and successfully obtaining a license can be a daunting task.

This comprehensive guide delves into the intricacies of the licensing process, providing aspiring fintech pioneers with a roadmap to success.

How CBN Regulatory

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) serves as the primary regulatory body for fintech operations in Nigeria.

The CBN has established a comprehensive set of guidelines and requirements for various fintech activities, ensuring that financial services are conducted responsibly and securely.

These guidelines are periodically reviewed and updated to keep pace with the ever-changing fintech landscape.

Types of Fintech Licenses in Nigeria

The specific license required for a fintech app depends on the nature of its operations. The CBN has categorized fintech activities into three main classes:

Payment Service Banks (PSBs): PSBs are licensed to provide basic financial services, including deposit-taking, payments, and remittance services, to underserved communities.

Mobile Money Operators (MMOs): MMOs are licensed to facilitate mobile payments and transactions, enabling users to transfer funds, pay bills, and access other financial services using their mobile phones.

Payment Terminal Service Providers (PTSPs): PTSPs are licensed to provide payment terminal deployment, support, and maintenance services to merchants, enabling them to accept electronic payments.

Eligibility Criteria for Fintech Licenses

To be eligible for a fintech license in Nigeria, applicants must meet specific criteria, including:

Legal Structure: The fintech company must be a registered legal entity in Nigeria.

Share Capital Requirements: The fintech company must meet minimum share capital requirements based on the type of license sought.

Fit and Proper Persons: The fintech company’s directors and key management personnel must meet fit and proper requirements, demonstrating competence, integrity, and financial probity.

Technology and Infrastructure: The fintech company must possess adequate technology and infrastructure to support its operations and ensure data security.

Business Plan and Financial Projections: The fintech company must submit a detailed business plan and financial projections demonstrating its viability and sustainability.

Application Process for Fintech Licenses

The application process for fintech licenses involves several steps:

Preliminary Assessment: The fintech company should conduct a preliminary assessment to ensure it meets the eligibility criteria and regulatory requirements.

Application Submission: The fintech company must submit a duly completed application form along with supporting documentation to the CBN.

Due Diligence and Review: The CBN will conduct due diligence on the fintech company and review its application to ensure compliance with regulations.

CBN’s Decision: The CBN will issue a decision on the application, either granting or denying the license.

Post-License Requirements

Once licensed, fintech companies must adhere to ongoing regulatory requirements, including:

Periodic Reporting: Regular submission of financial and operational reports to the CBN.

Compliance Audits: Periodic audits conducted by the CBN to assess compliance with regulations.

Consumer Protection: Ensuring fair and transparent practices that protect consumer interests.

Data Security: Maintaining robust data security measures to safeguard customer information.


What is a fintech app?

A fintech app is a mobile application that provides financial services. Fintech apps can be used for a variety of purposes, such as banking, investing, payments, and money transfers.

How do I get a loan from a fintech app?

The process of getting a loan from a fintech app typically involves the following steps:

Download the fintech app and create an account.

Fill out a loan application.

Provide documentation of your income and expenses.

Receive a decision on your loan application.

How much interest do fintech apps charge?

The interest rates charged by fintech apps can vary depending on the lender and the borrower’s creditworthiness. However, fintech apps typically charge lower interest rates than traditional banks.

Are fintech apps safe to use?

Fintech apps are generally safe to use, as they are regulated by the same financial authorities as traditional banks. However, it is important to choose a reputable fintech app and to take precautions to protect your personal information.

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