Exclusive: Eyowo shares new timeline for resumption of interbank transfers

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Exclusive: Eyowo shares new timeline for resumption of interbank transfers

Eyowo has set Monday, June 12, 2023, as the new deadline for the resumption of interbank transfers. Meanwhile, the company is exploring alternative ways to compensate depositors who are in dire need of their funds in Eyowo.

Digital bank Eyowo has now announced a new timeline for the restoring interbank transfers—Monday, June 12. Although Eyowo users can currently transfer money to other Eyowo accounts, they are still unable to transact with other banks. “Other functionalities of the Eyowo platform, such as airtime transfers, transfers within Eyowo accounts, and cable subscriptions, continue to operate normally. We are actively collaborating with its partner banks to resolve these issues, and they anticipate a resolution by the end of business on Monday,” Eyowo said in an exclusive interview with TechCabal. The company has also said that it is pooling funds from other sources to address the urgent needs of customers until then.

Since Sunday, May 25, Eyowo users have faced restrictions in receiving and withdrawing funds from their Eyowo accounts after the digital bank’s MFB licence was revoked. The CBN declined to provide specific details regarding the reasons for revoking Eyowo’s license after TechCabal reached out to the apex bank. Speaking on behalf of Eyowo, Onyekachi Irozuru, a project manager and team lead told TechCabal that one of the reasons for the revocation is the company’s failure to meet certain benchmarks set by the CBN for MFBs. They did not share specific details.

Eyowo has assured its users that their funds are securely held in partner deposit banks, and the only hindrance they are currently experiencing is related to regulatory issues, specifically with interbank transfers.

Eyowo pools funds for customers in dire need of cash

Moreover, Eyowo says that it has been using various methods to provide funds to customers who have expressed urgent financial requirements. In a conversation with TechCabal, the digital bank shared its commitment to addressing customer needs while working closely with the CBN to resolve the situation. “We have encountered customers who require funds for fulfilling customer orders or paying medical expenses for their loved ones. Depending on the specific circumstances, Eyowo has been sourcing funds from its network of friends, supporters, and even employees have been utilising their personal resources to fulfil either partial or full amounts requested by customers,” it stated.

TechCabal was not able to confirm these claims, but asked why employees are actively making personal financial contributions to address the issue. Onyekachi Irozuru, a project manager team lead at the digital bank explained that such camaraderie stems from the company’s culture, which fosters a sense of operating like a family. To illustrate why employees are going to great lengths to resolve the problem, Irozuru, who has been with the company for five years, recounted a personal experience, a time when his wife faced complications during childbirth, and his boss reached out to check on him. Upon learning about the complications, the boss swiftly arranged for Irozuru’s wife to be transferred to Reddington Hospital, a popularly expensive hospital. “When we arrived, it became evident that the [Reddington] hospital was already prepared for their arrival, promptly taking charge of the situation and ensuring a safe delivery for my wife,” he elaborated. “Eyowo genuinely cares about people, including both customers and employees, and that is why employees are motivated to go above and beyond to resolve the current problem,” Irozuru added.

In contrast, certain Eyowo users have resorted to alternative methods to withdraw funds from their Eyowo accounts. Among these methods, some people are buying airtime and subsequently selling them to receive cash in return. Others are advertising the airtime on social media platforms, while some are using features like Palmpay’s Recharge2Cash to get cash. Eyowo, told TechCabal that the customers’ ability to access their funds through these means should serve as an assurance that their money remains secure and will be accessible by the end of business on Monday.

Editor’s note: This article has been edited to reflect that Eyowo will only be restoring inter-bank transfers by Monday, and not its MFB licence. The company has not disclosed when the licence will be restored.

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