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CBN issues framework for operation of sandbox, Quick Response code payments

Nigeria’s Central Bank of Wednesday issued two frameworks for safety and stability of the financial system. This follows the increasing consumer appetite for payment solutions and emerging disruptive technology in the financial services space.

One of the frameworks is the operations of a Regulatory Sandbox, which aims to promote effective competition, embrace new technology, encourage Financial Inclusion and improve customer experience, with a view to engendering public confidence in the Financial System.

The Sandbox encourages innovation that can improve the design and delivery of payment services and is therefore, also suitable for proposed products, services or solutions that are either not contemplated under the prevailing laws and regulations, or do not precisely align with existing regulations.

The second one was Quick Response (QR) Code Payments for safety and stability of the Nigerian financial system.

Quick Response (QR) Codes are a kind of matrix barcode representing information presented as square grids, made up of black squares against a contrasting background that can be scanned by imaging device, processed and transmitted by appropriate technology.

These codes according to the CBN can be used to present, capture and transmit payments information across payments infrastructure. The technology further enables the mobile channel to facilitate payments and presents another veritable avenue for promoting electronic payments for micro and small enterprises.

The framework provides regulatory guidance for the operation of QR Code payment services in Nigeria. It aims to ensure the adoption of appropriate QR code standards for safe and efficient payments services in Nigeria.

Participants in QR Code Payment include merchants customers, issuers (Banks, MMOs and Other Financial Institutions), Acquirers (Banks, MMOs and Other Financial Institutions), and Payments Service Providers.

“All issuers, acquirers, switches, processors and other participants in QR payments in Nigeria shall ensure full interoperability of QR Code Schemes in Nigeria,” the framework stated.

On infringements and sanctions, the regulator said all parties shall comply with the provisions of this framework and other relevant guidelines issued by the CBN. The Bank shall apply appropriate sanctions to any party that fails to comply accordingly.

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