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Digital Banking Users to Reach 3Bn by 2021- Report




Nearly 3 billion users will access retail banking services via smartphones, tablets, PCs and smartwatches globally by 2021, up 53% from this year.

This is according to a report by Juniper Research titled: Retail Banking: Digital Transformation & Disruptor Opportunities 2017-2021, which found that while traditional banks have so far remained a step behind in delivering innovation and maintaining their competitive edge against new fintech players, the situation is gradually changing.

The research notes that usage of tech devices for banking purposes will continue to rise as consumers increasingly opt for banks offering the convenience of rapid, multi-channel digital services.

This means that banks will need to focus on providing a more frictionless digital experience to their customers, especially if they are to remain market leaders, adds the report.

“Technology is currently the big differentiator for all types of banks; including traditional banks and the so-called challenger banks. Investments in banking technology reached record levels in 2016 and traditional banks are expected to focus on digital transformation initiatives”, explains Juniper Research author Nitin Bhas.

Juniper predicts that in 2017, big banks will acquire challenger players including tech start-ups and digital-only banks, and this will further accelerate the rollout of traditional players’ digital strategy.

The 2016 Nielsen mobile shopping, banking and payment survey shows SA’s vast mobile adoption has made South Africans more receptive to making payments, doing banking and shopping on a mobile device.

The survey, which polled 30 000 people with online access in 63 countries, including SA, found South Africans are outpacing global nations in terms of online mobile adoption. In the banking sector, local respondents were particularly responsive, with 67% saying they use their phone to monitor spending and manage finances, compared to 32% of global respondents.

George Kalebaila, IDC senior manager for telecoms, media and Internet of things in Africa, says: “South Africa’s banking industry is moving at pace with developed economies in terms of digital transformation, and we expect as the digital ecosystem matures, we will see more and more transactions and services move to the digital platforms, radically transforming the way we interact and conduct our lives.

“And mobility without a doubt is a key driver of this transformation, especially when applied in conjunction with other emerging technologies, such as the Internet of things, analytics, augmented/virtual reality and social media.”

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek believes that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. So since 2007, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and how they affect lives.

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Skye Bank Management Tampered with Figures to Deceive CBN, Others



More information are beginning to emerge on what led to the actual death of Skye Bank Plc few months ago, when the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) revoked its operating licence and changed it to Polaris Bank.


It was gathered from the preliminary reports of the ongoing investigations of the management of the defunct Skye Bank Plc that the lender’s top shot allegedly carried out serial manipulations of the company’s reports, fraudulently masking details with the sole aim of deceiving regulators, including the CBN and the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).


According to Guardian, the preliminary reports specifically identified fraudulent and false accounting, manipulation of accounting records to present false profits and ratios, unlawful loan and credit facilities, non-disclosure of directors’ interests and lending beyond the single obligor limit.


The Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), in a disclosure, said it is currently monitoring the investigations in conjunction with the apex bank, which are ongoing, by the law enforcement agencies, against the directors and management of the failed bank, to determine their actual level of culpability.


In the evening of Friday, September 21, 2018, Governor of the CBN, Mr Godwin Emefiele, at a news conference, announced the revocation of Skye Bank licence.


During the announcement, Mr Emefiele said a bridge bank called Polaris Bank had been established to assume ownership of the assets and liabilities of Skye Bank and make sure it gets back on its feet and return to profitability.


On Monday, September 24, 2018, the NSE suspended trading on the shares of Skye Bank at the stock market.


Days later, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), Mr Umaru Ibrahim, while speaking at a function in Lagos, said a former chairman of Skye Bank, Mr Tunde Ayeni, as well as a director of the defunct bank, Mr Festus Fadeyi, were being investigated by government.


He had said as soon as investigations were finalised, the necessary action would be taken and those found culpable severely dealt with.


In early October 2018, Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, directed the CBN and NDIC to fully investigate and prosecute all the directors and executive management who contributed to the collapse of Skye Bank as well as other Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) in liquidation.


She had noted that the failure of Skye Bank must be used as an opportunity to deal decisively with those behind the collapse so as to serve as a deterrent to other operators in the financial system and according to her, federal government was no longer prepared to treat such serious infractions with levity.








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CBN Asks Telcos to Pay N5Bn for Mobile Money Licenses



Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)  has asked telecommunications companies that intend to deepen financial inclusion in the country through mobile money services to make a minimum capital deposit of N5bn.


It was gathered that the apex bank also granted the telcos a provisional approval to apply for a Payment Service Bank licence through a subsidiary company.


As contained in the draft guidelines issued by the CBN, an evidence of the payment of N5bn must be provided when applying for an Approval in Principle.


The telecoms companies that have indicated interest in driving the financial inclusion plans of the Federal Government are MTN, Airtel, 9mobile, Ntel , and Globacom.


Commenting on the guidelines, Mr Gbenga Adebayo, chairman, Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria, said the PSB licence would allow the telcos to facilitate the payment but restrict them from giving loans.


In addition, he objected to the minimum deposit of N5bn, saying it was on the high side considering that other mobile money operators were asked to make a payment of N2bn.


According to Adebayo, these issues have been addressed in feedback to the apex bank, expressing optimism that the input will be considered.


“The justification for the minimum capital deposit is unknown. However, when compared to the capital requirement for National Microfinance Banks and Mobile Money Operators which are currently fixed at N2bn, it is our view that the figure is excessive, particularly bearing in mind that National MFBs have a wider service bouquet,” he said.


“We have made our comments on the provisions of the draft document and we are expecting feedback from the CBN.”


Meanwhile, Rob Shuter, CEO of MTN Group, this week, announced the plans of the company to apply for a mobile banking licence in Nigeria and launch the service in 2019.


Shuter, while addressing a conference in Cape Town, said, “We will be applying for a payment service banking licence in Nigeria in the next month or so, and if all goes according to plan, we will also be launching Mobile Money in Nigeria probably around Q2 of 2019.”


Telecoms operators in Africa have recorded tremendous reach with mobile money services on the continent due to their large customer base, existing distribution network and mobile phone penetration.


At the centre of the mobile money growth are Safaricom’s M-Pesa, MTN Mobile money, Orange Money, Tigo Pesa, Vodafone Cash and Airtel Money.


The five Nigerian network operators recently pledged to deploy over one million airtime agents for mobile money services in the country and leverage their mobile base, integrated identity systems and distribution network to offer financial services to Nigerians.


They also gave the assurance that they would reach 90 million people with financial services by 2020.


According to them, other stakeholders and the government would be engaged to ensure the telecommunications sector contributes its quota to the 80 per cent total financial inclusion and 70 per cent formal financial inclusion goal by 2020.


The telcos promised to drive an awareness programme that would deepen financial literacy across the country, within the next three months.


Further sharing their plans, they said in six months, they intend to reach 15 million customers with financial services, and in one year, they would have reached 35 million Nigerians.


According to the telcos, 70 million Nigerians will be reached in two years and by the 30th month of commencement of the service, 90 million customers will benefit from the scheme.


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Depositors of Failed MFBs, PMBs to Get 100% of their Funds- NDIC



Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) has said it will soon commence paying off of depositors of the 154 Microfinance Banks (MFBs) and six Primary Mortgage Banks (PMBs) whose licenses were revoked by the Central Bank of Nigeria.


Umaru Ibrahim, managing director and chief executive of the NDIC, disclosed this while speaking at the opening ceremony of a workshop for business editors and financial correspondents in Benin on Wednesday


Ibrahim said the corporation will be paying 100 per cent of the funds of the depositors of the financial institutions.


Ibrahim who was represented by the Director, Insurance and Surveillance Department, Muhammed Umar, noted that the NDIC has commenced verification of insured depositors and is to commence paying verified claims to appropriate depositors in fulfilment of its core mandate.


According to him, records from the verification process showed that majority of the depositors especially in the MFBs, have less than N200,000 in their accounts. This he said means that the NDIC payout will cover 100 per cent of the depositors.


Some of the financial institutions whose licenses were revoked had ceased to carry on the type of banking business for which their licenses were issued for a continuous period of more than six months while others had gone into voluntary liquidation.

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