Unified Payments becomes second payment gateway as CBN tackles POS fraud
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Unified Payments becomes second payment gateway as CBN tackles POS fraud

Great news as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has awarded the country’s second Payment Terminal Service Aggregator (PTSA) license to the country’s premier financial technology company, Unified Payment, following a rigorous and transparent process, BusinessDay has learnt. The authorities said the move is targeted at enforcing existing requirement that all transactions from point-of-sale channels in Nigeria must go through a licensed Payment Terminal Service Aggregator (PTSA).

The CBN is enforcing the laws to clamp down on financial crimes and other market misconducts and it aligns with the CBN’s objectives to fully track all electronic transactions in Nigeria, given the propensity of using such transactions to fund insecurity, violent crimes, banditry, kidnapping as well as other vices.

According to an analyst, “By awarding a second PTSA license, the apex bank has proactively responded to industry operators who had expressed serious concerns about channelling all transactions through a single aggregator, the Nigeria Interbank Settlement System PLC (NIBBS), as has been the case for some years.

“With this new policy direction, payments service providers would henceforth route all transactions through either of the two licensed Companies.”

Other financial analysts and industry players have commended the Central Bank, affirming that “the move can be a massive step in the right direction. They also commended the open, transparent, and inclusive manner via which the selection process was managed, and the license awarded.

“The selection process, which lasted for months, began with an invitation for qualified organisations within the payment industry to submit an Expression of Interest document, alongside other requisite documentation and additional capital requirement of N1 billion.”

Unified Payment Services Limited, also called Unified Payments or UP, is a shared service provider within Nigeria’s financial technology sector owned by a consortium of Nigerian banks. For over 26 years, the firm has provided payment technology to banks and other industry operators. The first and only non-bank entity that is a principal member and licensed acquirer of all of American Express, Mastercard, Visa, UnionPay and Payattitude. Unified Payments facilitates both local and international transactions.

Unified Payment formerly known as ValuCard Nigeria Plc, Unified Payments led the way to introduce POS payments in Nigeria under its card scheme known as ValuCard which is the first payment card to be issued in Nigeria. The company later transformed into a scheme-neutral and option-neutral service provider enabling transactions under different schemes. The company has continued to provide leading payment technologies and services, enabling different operators to leverage its capabilities and licenses, enabling prompt and seamless transactions. Prominent among the shareholders of Unified Payments are First Bank, Access Bank, United Bank for Africa (UBA), Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, Zenith Bank and Fidelity Bank. Other shareholders are Citibank Nigeria Limited, Ecobank of Nigeria Plc, First City Monument Bank Plc, Keystone Bank Ltd, Polaris Bank Ltd, Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc, Sterling Bank Plc and Wema Bank Plc.

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