Monday, July 4, 2022
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Mobile money agents are victims of scams – AMMBAN

The Association of Mobile Money and Bank Agents in Nigeria have said that mobile money agents are victims of many crimes and scams.

The AMMBAN National Public Relations Officer, Oluwasegun Elegbade, disclosed this during a press conference held in Lagos recently. According to him, criminals often paraded themselves as customers in need of cash, cloning bank alerts, and scaming agents.

He said, “There is a need for proper supervision of entry and conduct of activities of all players in the value chain.

“Agents are mostly the victims of the many crimes committed in our business space today as highlighted on the floor of the House. Many criminals parading themselves as customers in dire need of cash or other financial services have mastered the act of cloning bank alerts and using the same for the exchange of cash from the outlets of unsuspecting agents.

“We have instances where the sum of money involved in such incidents is so huge that the agents involved became insolvent.”

According to him, the association served the interest of all mobile money and bank agents in Nigeria and was duly registered and recognised by the CBN and other relevant players in the mobile money and agency banking sector of the country.

He said the association was in the process of taking necessary steps to ensure that its business space was rid of unscrupulous elements and their activities.

AMMBAN National President, Mr Victor Olojo, noted that the mobile money sector was well regulated by the CBN and had been operating under the regulatory guidelines stipulated by the CBN.

According to him, the framework issued by the CBN was not being properly enforced.

He said, “What we are seeing is somewhat close to an abuse, a clear violation of what the framework issued out by the CBN states.

“One of the frameworks states that a Mobile Money or Bank Agent should be located in a brick-and-mortar location, an address that is traceable. But what we have today are agents under umbrellas, trees, and agents who are hawking with terminals.

“And for a very long time, as early as 2021, we had written to various stakeholders highlighting these issues of concern to us. So, we are happy that finally, this is coming out to the fore. We believe that what is lacking is enforcement. And as an association, we have already taken steps in ensuring that these issues are being addressed.”

Oloja added that to ensure adherence to CBN regulation, the association had been organising training and retraining exercises to ensure that the framework issued by CBN was strictly adhered to.

He stated, “We have been training and retraining our members on what the expectations are. We know there was a time when there were rumours and concerns that agents were taking out details of customers.

“But we know that no member of the Association of Mobile Money and Bank Agents will do that. Our members are well traceable, we have our database. We cannot say for a fact that unscrupulous individuals now have access to PoS terminals, that is why we have continued to raise our voices from time to time to say that there is a need for more coordination among the players of Mobile Money and Agency Banking in Nigeria.

“So, for a fact, there are concerns, but we want to say that the bulk of the issues are not from the side of the agents, but there is a need for all players to come together to see how we can address these issues.”

He further disclosed that as an internal measure at AMMBAN, the association had launched a monitoring and evaluating unit, the AMMBAN Task Force, to ensure that mobile money and bank agents registered under AMMBAN played by the rules..

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