Nigerian digital bank, Eyowo, has remained in a state of uncertainty six months after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) revoked its Microfinance Bank (MFB) license, preventing the fintech from reassuring its customers who are currently in limbo, as to when it can resume operations.
The CBN revoked Eyowo’s MFB license over possible non-compliance, leading to a prolonged period of disruption with many Eyowo customers facing challenges in withdrawing their deposits.
The startup, in a statement has attributed the delay in the resumption of operations to some processes that it needs to conclude. These processes include changing its name and relisting on the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), the country’s central switch. Eyowo stated that these changes are contingent on third-party collaborations and are not entirely within its control.
Three weeks after its license was revoked, Eyowo entered into a partnership with Providus Bank to facilitate deposit withdrawals for its tier 2 and tier 3 customers. However, it’s unclear how efficient this partnership is in enabling users to access their funds.
Eyowo’s social media posts continue to attract complaints from customers reporting difficulties in withdrawing their money. Some users have reportedly resorted to using their deposits to purchase airtime on the Eyowo platform and then redeeming it for cash on alternative platforms like PalmPay.
In addition to operational disruptions, Eyowo has undergone internal changes to navigate its challenging circumstances. The company dismissed shutdown speculations while simultaneously letting go of 11% of its employees.
Eyowo’s prolonged struggle raises concerns about the future of one of Nigeria’s earliest digital banking players and underscores the challenges faced by fintech companies in navigating regulatory environments.
As customers await answers on the resolution of the fintech’s regulatory issues, Eyowo’s ability to regain trust and resume seamless banking services remains uncertain.