Nigeria’s Central Bank Introduces Digital Platform for Microfinance Bank License Applications
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has launched a new online platform in a move set to revolutionize the way Microfinance Bank (MFB) license applications are submitted.
Known as the CBN Licensing, Approval and Other Requests Portal (CBN LARP), this platform is designed to replace the current manual submission process, marking a significant shift in the CBN’s approach to license applications.
Digitization for Efficiency and Accessibility
The introduction of the CBN LARP is part of the CBN’s initiative to digitize the MFB license application process. This transition is aimed at improving accessibility, reducing paperwork, and speeding up the approval process.
The move is a reflection of broader trends towards digitization in the financial sector, as institutions seek to leverage technology to enhance their operations and customer experiences.
From September 25, 2023, MFB license applicants will be required to submit applications both in hardcopy and online via the CBN LARP. This dual process, termed as a parallel run, will continue until December 31, 2023.
Upon the conclusion of this phase, only online submissions will be accepted. The purpose of this parallel run is to gradually familiarize users with the new system while phasing out the old manual process.
Advantages of the Online Application System
The CBN has emphasized several benefits of the online application system. In addition to simplifying the process and saving time, the platform also facilitates improved communication between applicants and the CBN.
Moreover, it incorporates robust security measures to ensure the safety and integrity of the submitted information. To be accepted, the cover letter of the hardcopy application must include a valid application reference from the online submission.
To assist applicants in transitioning to the new platform, the CBN has provided detailed guidance and a user guide that can be downloaded from the platform. A dedicated helpdesk has also been set up to provide further information and answer any queries.
Despite this digital shift for MFB license applications, the CBN will continue to accept manual applications for all other license types until further notice.
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