CBN Releases Exposure Draft on Digital Financial Services Awareness

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has released an Exposure Draft on Digital Financial Services (DFS) Awareness Guidelines which is expected to address gaps in consumer knowledge and practices with Digital Financial Services (DFS).

According to a circular issued by the CBN’s Consumer Protection Department, the guidelines apply to depository banks (DMBs), merchant banks, other financial institutions (OFIs), payment service banks (PSBs) and other payment service institutions approved by the regulator.

As part of its purpose, the guideline is to establish “Digital Financial Literacy (DFL) Standards for Digital Financial Service Providers (DFSPs).”

The guideline states that DFS providers, among other requirements, must: “Provide information that will enable consumers to differentiate DFS products from conventional banking products and services.”

They should also ensure easy access to information about all product offerings to enable consumers to make informed decisions, provide product information in simple terms

English and local languages; conduct outreach to underserved populations about the DFS options available to them and provide information on how to use the products and how to obtain support services when needed.

In addition, DFS providers are required to: “develop and deliver educational materials to potential and existing customers through basic channels such as Short Message Service (SMS), Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD ) and on agent sites, in addition to the app, web and social media platforms and submit the developed educational materials to the Director of Consumer Protection, CBN for review.

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