Recently our Intel team received a request to find our if Africunia Bank (africuniabank.com) is a legitimate entity. On their website, Africunia states that they are a digital banking app that fulfils your financial transactional needs. From transferring your money or receiving payments, we keep track of all your money. With 2.5 million users online, we are providing our services in 180+ countries. The customer support is 24/7, and we are dealing with currencies worldwide. Our intuitive global money transfer app is easy to use, fastest, and 100% secure.
If Africunia was all about transferring money and receiving payments, then you won’t be reading this. There’s more as Africunia offers a host of other services. Worth of note are its loan facility, fixed deposit scheme and deposit pension scheme. As regards to loans, Africunia writes, We are an authorised loan Provider bank in nigeria and have got the best Loan Plans for you at a reasonable and unbeatable rate.
Authorized Loan Provider?
The pertinent question to ask is authorized by which agency or organization? Currently, to be authorized to give out loans, a company must either be licensed under the money lending law of a particular state or by the Central Bank of Nigeria as a Finance Company or as a Microfinance Bank. Since license obtained under the Money Lending Law of a state does not permits money lending activities outside that state, we can rule out state licensing for Africunia as it offers it services nationwide. Also, it is neither licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria as a Microfinance Bank or a Finance Company.
Checking the Corporate Affairs Commission’s website, we find that Africunia was registered in 2017.
A further check showed that it was registered as GENERAL CONTRACT AND MERCHANDISE under its business activity.
Mobile Money Operator?
There’s a page titled “Deposit Money in Nigeria” on Africunia’s website. The page has these words:
Download AFRICUNIA BANK digital banking app to deposit money in Nigeria. We have an easy-to-use, user-friendly digital banking application that can help one fulfill their financial transaction needs. We operate in over 180 countries, allowing our users financial freedom with our global money transfer app. On top of that, you do not have to worry about the transfer fee or any other similar charges, as we offer our services at minimal costs. Our 2.5 million users can vouch for that.
You simply cannot find a better way to deposit money in Nigeria than AFRICUNIA BANK. Do not think for a second more; download our app and signup today! It is one of the best decisions you can make. Now, connect with us and get immediate help with your specific needs.
Clearly Africunia is offering mobile money services to Nigerians. But the Central Bank of Nigeria states in its Framework and Guidelines on Mobile Money Services that Mobile Money Operators shall not Grant any form of loans, advances and guarantees (directly or indirectly). Africunia has gone against this directive by offering loans on its application, another reason to doubt its claim of being authorized.
Fixed Deposit Scheme?
Africunia also offers a fixed deposit scheme. A fixed deposit is a financial instrument that offers a higher rate of return than a regular saving account.
But as already noted, there is no indication that Aficunia is registered or authorized to carry out this activity.
Deposit Pension Scheme?
Africunia also has a Deposit Pension Scheme amongst its offerings. A pension is a fund into which a sum of money is added during an employee’s employment years and from which payments are drawn to support the person’s retirement from work in the form of periodic payments.
Since pensions are not to be used till a person retires why is Africunia’s pension scheme rated 7, 14 and 30 days? Also, the Pension Reformed Act states that pension funds are to be privately managed exclusively by licensed Pension Fund Administrators (PFA). Africunia is not listed as a licensed Pension Fund Administrator on the Pencom website. This is another service that Africunia is offering which is not authorized.
Africunia displays a message at the footer of its website that it is a Canadian licensed and regulated financial institution (MSB).
The obvious question is why an organization offering services in Nigeria needs to be registered as a money services business in Canada and not Nigeria? FINTRAC also clearly states on their website that Registration with FINTRAC does not indicate that FINTRAC endorses or licenses the business. It indicates only that the business has satisfied the legal requirements to register. This statement is particularly important as we have seen several other fraudulent platforms use FINTRAC registration to appear legitimate, an example is Intelligence Prime Capital which performed an exit scam earlier this year.
In conclusion, Africunia offers services that runs afoul of extant laws and regulations, should you proceed to do any business with them, know that you are doing so at great risk.