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Dozie, Diamond Bank MD, Urges Use of Tech to Empower Unbanked Nigerians

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Mr. Uzoma Dozie, Managing Director/CEO, Diamond bank Plc, has said that technology remains the best way to empower and bring the unbanked Nigerians into the banking system.

He explained that one of the greatest examples of the empowering nature of technology has been the meteoric rise of mobile banking across Africa.

It is no exaggeration to say that mobile banking has revolutionized the way financial transactions are made across the continent and that for millions of people, it has positively transformed their ability to conduct business and their everyday lives, he said

He said: “Looking specifically at Nigeria and its ever-growing population of over 182 million people, we still have huge numbers of people who have limited or no access to convenient banking. If you think a bricks and mortar branch-led strategy is going to be the way to bring these people into the formal economy, then, in my view, you will fail.

Instead, it is only by creating digital infrastructure that the banking industry can scale rapidly enough to support the needs of those currently left out. Moreover, following changing lifestyles, Nigerians are some of the most digitally advanced consumers on the planet.”

“Therefore, when financial service firms think about the Nigerian market, they absolutely must provide a fully integrated, seamless digital offering. Failure to do so will only jar with the prevailing zeitgeist.

What is exciting is the potential ecosystem the digital infrastructure can help create. Through an integrated digital platform, consumers can access bundled services and products from multiple partners best suited to facilitating their lifestyle,” he added.

Giving an instance, he said: “through Diamond Mobile, our customers can manage their finances, search and book international and local flights, as well as purchase movie tickets, and this is only the start of what can become an even more integrated and far-reaching platform. It’s also the start of a concept that I call ‘Beyond Banking’.

China’s Wechat – an instant messaging service which allows online banking – is a powerful example of what the possibilities are when it comes to an integrated ecosystem. It is also a sign of the times that the CEO of a bank should be talking about the business model of a company that is seen as far removed from the traditional banking model, but I think this is the future and the start of a new category altogether, he further stated.

“Of course, a key element to making sure the most valuable and consumer-centric proposition is developed and brought to market, is through the use of data. By analysing the behaviour of consumers’ digital interactions and their financial transactions, banks can build a detailed picture.

This valuable insight can then help banks build the most appropriate infrastructure required to best support consumers’ needs. Clearly, as the digital revolution unfolds, there will be legitimate questions about data security and privacy that will need to be answered, but I don’t see these risks, as real as they are, as insurmountable,” he added.

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E-Financial

Five ‘Must’ Know Before Putting Your Money in Bitcoin

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Bitcoin is a type of digital currency in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds, operating independently of a central bank. Bitcoin is now worth $4,317.

Due to this, many are encouraging others to invest in the cryptocurrency. Nigerians are slowly embracing Bitcoin.

In line with this, Jumia Travel, the leading online travel agency share things Nigerians must know before joining the Bitcoin train.

More People Are Using Bitcoin
Despite the fact that some Nigerians are struggling to accept Bitcoin, more people are embracing it after years of gradual growth.
Hence, whether we like it or not, Bitcoin is the future and we have no choice than to use it.

Retailers And Vendors Are Accepting Bitcoin
You can now pay for whatever you purchase online with Bitcoin as some retailers have made it possible to settle transactions with it. Some notable companies that accept Bitcoin include Expedia, Microsoft, Subway, Newegg, TigerDirect, Tesla and PayPal. So, do not be surprised when some Nigerian companies start to accept Bitcoin.

Bitcoin Transfers Are Fast And flexible
While many financial institutions charge you or take days to process transactions, Bitcoin allows transfers from one account to another almost for free. Of course, you must already have your money in Bitcoin form. There is no need for any middlemen. As a result, the transfer is seamless.

Extremely Volatile
Bitcoin is still growing like earlier mentioned and there are a number of market factors that influence it. It very dependent on the rules of demand and supply.
The more people are willing to buy Bitcoins, the more the Bitcoin value will increase. Conversely, if more people sell, the prices will decline.

Treat It As Speculating, Not An Investment
Cryptocurrencies have a bright future as a new way to conduct commerce and business. That is not the same thing as saying that their value right now is sustainable. It’s early days yet, and, while the number of businesses accepting cryptocurrencies are growing, it’s not big enough for most of the demand to be built on legitimate trade.
This means that buying cryptocurrencies is speculation, not investment. Hence, you should be willing to lose the money you invest in buying Bitcoin!

 

 

 

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MasterCard to Roll out Mobile Emergency Cash Service at ATMs

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MasterCard has announced plans to roll out a mobile service that turns the ATM into an emergency cash hub, and that makes cash available for pickup even when the recipient has no bank account or debit card.

According to a press release, Mastercard Cash Pick-Up allows a bank to help an individual or company send money to anyone with a valid mobile phone number.

A text message with an order number, four-digit PIN and directions to the nearest branded ATM is sent to the recipient’s mobile device. This individual simply enters the numbers into an ATM to receive cash instantly.

The MasterCard vision for Cash Pick-Up includes:
–  Replacement of lost or stolen wallets with instant cash.
 –  Provision of 24/7 emergency relief to those in need.
 –  Remittance of funds or payments to the un- or underbanked.
  –  Delivery of faster payments on rebates and rewards.

The service is set to pilot this year in the U.S. with support from organizations such as Payment Alliance International, the nation’s largest privately held provider of ATMs, the release said.

MasterCard said it is also working to make Cash Pick-Up available at additional retail ATMs across the country beginning in 2018. The service is initially certified to run on ATMs made by Hyosung and Genmega.

To help manage deployment, Mastercard teamed with Pin4, which has operated a similar cardless disbursement system in Spain and Poland under the HalCash brand.

“Mobile devices are commonplace and ATMs are everywhere so it made sense to leverage these technologies to create a truly open, cash network. Now, with Mastercard’s Cash Pick-Up taking that concept to their vast network, we will see a new era emerge where cash is available to everyone via their mobile devices,” Richard Witkowski, Pin4 CEO said in the release.

The service employs a patented process that uses virtual card numbers to securely execute cardless transactions. It also leverages Safety Net, a tool that reduces the impact of cyberhacking of banks and processors, the release said.

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SBH Raises Alarm over Non-Remittance N20trillion Deducted as Stamp Duty

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Stamp Duty charges on bank transactions believed to have yielded N20trillion have developed wings and School of Banking Honours (SBH) has raised alarm, according to Nation.

Federal government through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on January 19 directed that N50 stamp duty be made on all transactions including bank electronic transactions above N1000.

The policy is aimed at boosting the country’s revenue base through non-oil sectors such as taxes and rates.

But the fortune raked in, has pitched the Nigerian Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS) against the School of Banking Honours, an institution registered by the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC).

The SBH is spearheading the recovery and remittance of the funds into the Federation Account for sharing by the Federal Government and the 36 states.

Tola Adekoya, SBH’s Project Consultant/Acting Rector, said based on findings from the research arm of SBH, he raised a Demand Notice dated 10th March, 2015, entitled, “Stamp Duty On Electronic Transfer Receipts (2013-2014)” on NIBSS for N7.719trillion as accruing and unremitted revenue to the Federal Government and the states.

He was invited by NIBSS for a discussion, but Adekoya is yet to honour the invitation.

“That invitation is traceable to the Demand Notice of 10th March 2015 that SBH raised on NIBSS as Stamp Duty of N7.7 Trillion due to 36 states and the Federal Government on electronic cash-less transfers which turned over an aggregate N160 Billion daily in just five states of the federation in early 2013, as reported by Central Bank Nigeria (CBN),” Adekoya said.

He told The Nation that from all indications, that figure may have risen close to N20trillion.

He said: ”Further reports revealed that the Stamp Duty revenue has now increased to N20trillion (in local banks), or $53.3 billion (in foreign banks) in four years to 31st March, 2017, and out of which less than one per cent was later swept into a dedicated account with Central Bank of Nigeria, in 2016.”

To him, the matter of diverted public fund should be of serious concern to the public in view of the amount that is in contention and the involvement of agencies and persons allegedly denying governments of such huge revenue collected from the unsuspecting banking public and for appropriate disciplinary action to be taken.

By its Memorandum of Association, the SBH is approved to research into banking operations, and collaborate with banks and government on banking matters. It is empowered to represent government in the suit under its Copyright Certificate No. LW1023 dated 27th September 2012, and titled, “50-Naira Stamp Duty for Government on Electronic Cashless Transfers and Manual Bank Teller Deposits”.

Adekoya said the alleged diversion of public funds should be of serious concern to the public in view of the amounts involved, and the culpability of agencies and persons that have been denying government of such huge revenue collected from unsuspecting banking public, for appropriate disciplinary action.

He said the SBH had approached the CBN in 2012 to partner on the research outcomes that would absorb retrenched and ex-bankers to lead its young emerging bankers on practical part-time banking jobs at a lower career level that is branded as “Shadow-Banking”.

“SBH clarified that Shadow-Banking products would birth other Shadow Industries to absorb the youth in high volume, until vacancies exist in their target career sectors, and for which they could be employed,” Adekoya said, adding that the SBH offer was turned down by the CBN, hence the body later aligned its job creation activities with CBN’s Financial System Strategy (FSS) 2020, but the CBN did not complement this, either, he stated.

Undeterred, Adekoya said, “the Institute then proceeded with a proposal to Nigerian Postal Services (NIPOST) on 20th April 2012 to increase its internal revenue by exploring a narrow window provided for affixing adhesive stamp on banking receipts in Stamp Duties Act 2004, and a Master Services Agreement was signed by both parties on 14th September 2012”.

“The institute then reverted to CBN on its first research work by a letter dated 27th September 2012, titled, “Revenue Collection for Government through Banks”, requesting for approval to engage banks and other financial institutions as collecting agents on the stamping and remittance of Stamp Duty on manual and electronic transfer receipts from N1,000 ( inclusive of all those from below N500,000 that CBN had earlier set as limit for banks) into government coffers,” the report said.

The SBH got approval letters from the CBN. Its two defined roles were firstly to affix N50 stamp as evidence of Stamp Duty Paid on bank receipts, as covered by the Master Services Agreement with NIPOST, and secondly to sweep Stamp Duty Revenue to government, as duly covered by the Copyright Certificate No. LW1023.

Based on the CBN approvals, the institute secured written commitments from three banks to lead other banks on manual stamp duty collection for government.

Adekoya said  since “NIBSS needed no such circular on electronic stamp duty collection for the government, because it runs a central operation, it joined the institute at a press conference on 4th January 2013 to support the government’s revenue project, and was engaged as the ‘official sweeping agent’ for government on 7th January 2013.”

He said the government directed that the only thing we should not charge stamp duty on is naira currency. “We went to Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS), which is the firm maintaining the portal for cash-less policy for all the banks. By January 2013, we were ready to run it. Since 1993, NIBSS has not remitted any stamp duty to the government,” Adekoya, said.

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