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Biometric Payment Cards an Emerging Frontier in Banking Security – Report

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The presence of biometric technologies in banking applications is steadily increasing, and embedded fingerprint sensor payment cards are the latest innovation ready to go public, according to a press release from ABI Research.

The market research firm said that fingerprint embedded payment cards will enjoy impressive growth over the next years, reaching 160 million shipments by 2022, at a five-year compound annual growth rate of approximately 400 percent.

The Middle East, Africa and North America will be among the first regions to record higher shipments during 2018, but Europe and Asia Pacific will have a larger penetration rate over the coming years, ABI said.

According to the release, MasterCard is leading the charge toward biometric payment cards; other key players include FPC, Gemalto, Idemia, Next Biometrics and Zwipe.

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E-Financial

AfDB Expects Nigeria’s Economy to Grow at 2.1% in 2018

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The African Development Bank (AfDB) has predicted a positive outlook for Nigeria’s economic in 2018.

The bank in its 2018 African Economic Outlook projected that Nigeria’s economy would grow at 2.1 per cent in 2018 and 2.5 per cent in 2019.

According to AfDB, this outlook is anchored on higher oil prices and production, as well as stronger agricultural performance.

Notwithstanding this positive outlook for the country, the AfDB said Nigeria still faces significant challenges, including foreign exchange shortages, disruptions in fuel supply, power shortages, and insecurity in some parts of the country.

“In addition, revenue mobilization efforts are insufficient; at 5 per cent, value added tax rates are among the lowest in the world, and revenue administration is inefficient. Poverty is unacceptably high; nearly 80 per cent of Nigeria’s 190 million people live on less than $2 a day,” the bank said in its report.

Looking into the future, the AfDB economic prediction on Nigeria noted that “oil prices rebounded to an average of $52 per barrel (Brent crude) in 2017 and are projected to reach $54 in 2018, up from $43 per barrel in 2016.”

“Oil production also increased from 1.45 million barrels per day in the first quarter of 2017 to 2.03 million in the third quarter of 2017 following de-escalation of hostilities in the Niger Delta region and is expected to remain at the same level in 2018 and 2019, in tandem with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) production restrictions,” AfDB added.

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Bitcoin Deeps Less Than $10,000 For The First Time Since December

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Bitcoin, the dominant digital currency, witnessed a slump on Wednesday following a recent surge to trade below $10,000 for the first time since the start of December.

 

Market analysis suggests that the price could shift in either direction and recent regulatory developments – out of South Korea and China in particular – could roil markets further, according to some observers.

 

Craig Erlam, senior market analyst Oanda trading group, said of bitcoin’s drop below $10,000 “There was clearly a significant speculative component to the rally late last year and the drop will be very discouraging to those that previously thought there was easy money to be made”.

 

Bitcoin is down from record highs approaching $20,000 in the week before Christmas, having rocketed 25-fold last year, before being hit by concerns about a bubble and worries about crackdowns on trading it.

 

David Cheetham, chief market analyst XTB noted that, “The panic-selling seen across all the major cryptocurrencies could be attributed to a possible regulatory clampdown in South Korea with authorities threatening to place an outright ban on cryptocurrency trading,”

 

“Having said that, this narrative has been around for many weeks now and isn’t really new but it has once more raised the spectre of tighter regulation on this market.”

 

 

 

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NSE Awaits Signing of Bill to be Publicly Listed

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Oscar Onyema, chief executive officer, the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) expects a bill that will allow the exchange to be publicly listed signed into law this year.

The second-biggest exchange in sub-Saharan Africa after Johannesburg and a main entry point for investors in Africa, the Nigerian bourse last year got a green light from its members, mostly stockbrokers and some institutional investors, to become a publicly listed company.

Oscar Onyema, NSE, CEO, said yesterday, he expects the public listing, a process known as demutualisation, to generate profits that will boost its business and product development capacity.

The Johannesburg Stock Exchange, the continent’s most developed stock market, has been a listed company since 2006.

“In 2017, we amplified our efforts to establish West Africa’s first derivatives market,” Onyema told analysts discussing the outlook for 2018.

“We also worked to create and enhance legal and regulatory frameworks which support derivative instruments, and have made significant progress towards securing approvals to operationalize these frameworks.”

The equities market in Nigeria was the third best-performing market in the world in 2017 after the central bank liberalised the naira for foreign investors, a move which lured back funds that been pulled out at the peak of a currency crisis.

Onyema attributed last year’s performance partly to central bank policies that helped increased currency market liquidity.

He added that he expected corporate earnings to lift equities this year, despite currency and political risks, after stocks crossed 44,000 points to hit a nine-year high on Tuesday.

Stocks gained 42 percent last year and have continued to rally this year, rising 13 percent in the first 11 days of trading.

Onyema said the market for initial public offerings remained inactive, noting that there are plans to revive new issues.

Nigeria’s bourse has around 200 listed companies and plans to launch exchange-traded derivatives securities this year.

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