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GSMA Launches Global Mobile Money Certification Scheme

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The GSMA announced the launch of the GSMA Mobile Money Certification, a global scheme for mobile money providers to offer safer, more transparent and more resilient financial services to millions of mobile money users around the world.

This was announced at the Mobile 360 – West Africa event held in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.

The certification relies on an independent assessment of a mobile money provider’s ability to deliver secure and reliable services, to protect the rights of consumers and to combat money laundering and terrorism financing.

The certification is designed to enhance consumer trust and accelerate commercial partnerships by setting a high bar to which all providers can aspire.

“The GSMA Mobile Money Certification is a consumer-focused initiative, aimed at giving customers confidence that a provider has taken steps to ensure their funds are in safe hands, their rights are protected and they can expect a high level of customer service.

“With over 690 million accounts globally, the mobile money industry is having a clear impact on the global effort to expand financial inclusion, providing access to life-enhancing financial services and serving as a gateway to the digital economy.

“Mobile money is directly advancing 13 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals by facilitating access to essential services such as health and education, providing employment opportunities and reducing poverty,” said John Giusti, Chief Regulatory Officer, GSMA.

The certification scheme follows a three-year consultative process led by the GSMA, which worked together with providers in Africa, Asia and Latin America to understand the challenges of their business and assemble best practices from these markets.

Certification is open to all mobile money providers, whether they are a mobile operator, a bank or other type of payment service provider.

Orange Côte d’Ivoire, Safaricom (Kenya), Telenor Microfinance Bank Ltd. (Easypaisa Pakistan), Tigo Tanzania (Millicom Group) and Vodacom Tanzania are the first to be certified, covering 98 million accounts in four markets.

The certification promotes the application of consistent risk mitigation and consumer protection practices across key areas of business. The requirements include a set of eight high-level principles and 300 detailed criteria covering issues such as security, consumer rights and the prevention of money laundering, financing of terrorism and fraud.

The Certification criteria complements providers’ compliance efforts, but goes beyond regulation in its detail and scope, defining and promoting industry best practices in detail. Responsible business practices are essential to help regulators achieve their goals around financial inclusion, stability, integrity and consumer protection.

The operational management of the certification is contracted to an independent scheme operator, Alliances Management, which has responsibility for training and overseeing independent assessors to ensure all assessments are consistent and objective. The benchmark for achieving certification has been set high to serve as an aspiration to all providers and a pass mark of 100 per cent is required.

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E-Financial

Sacked Banks’ Workers Drag CBN, Banks to Court over N9.8Bn Entitlements

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Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria

Ex-staff of banks numbering over 10, 000 have restated their resolve to get their over N9.8billion entitlements from their former employers.

 

The former bankers who hitherto filed a class action suit through the Registered Trustees of the Association of Ex-Staff of Non-Consolidated Banks of Nigeria and all ex-staff of eight banks not consolidated in the banks consolidation exercise at the National Industrial Court, Lagos Judicial Division, had last week undertaken to appear in court as individuals to press home their demand.

 

They had sued the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) over nonpayment of their N9.8billion gratuities 12 years after they were retrenched.

 

Also joined in the suit are Ecobank Nigeria Plc, UBA Plc, Skye Bank Plc and Zenith Bank Plc.

 

A breakdown of the claimants’ gratuities showed that Allstates and Hallmark Bank both acquired by Ecobank were owed over N7billion.

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Besides, UBA which acquired Gulf Bank, Liberty Bank, Metropolitan Bank and Trade Bank owed ex-staff of the respective banks over N1.3bn just as Skye Bank and Zenith Banks were owed over N600m and N22million.

 

During their first appearance last week at Court 9 presided over by Justice Mustapha Tijani, the claimants’ counsel Daniel Omotilewa recalled that following the N25billion recapitalisation benchmark set by the apex for banks under the ‘Guidelines and Incentives on Consolidation in the Banking Industry,’ the CBN had assured that those whose employment would be jeopardised as a consequence of the exercise will be paid their due entitlements in line with industry standards and even provided with soft loans to set up their small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs).

 

Justice Tijani while taking the claimants’ lawyer pleas observed that the defendants’ lawyers were not properly served.

 

Speaking further, Justice Tijani said since the case was just brought up for mentioning enjoined all the parties to be properly served. He therefore moved for the adjournment to July 9th, 2018, since according to him, the case was just for mention.

 

In a chat with The Nation, the claimants’ counsel said his clients had a prima facie case against the CBN, NDIC and their former employers. “We are coming as individual, but rather than each of us filing different cases. You know the provision allows bringing the actions together to prevent multiplicity of actions. The action is basically against CBN and NDIC. They want their remunerations to be paid.”

 

Also addressing journalists, Magnus Maduka, the chairman of the group said it was disheartening to note that over 100 members of the group have faced their untimely death as a result of the inhuman conditions they had been subjected to these past years.

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SystemSpecs Seeks Special Fund to Drive Financial Inclusion

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SystemSpecs Limited, has called on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to establish a special fund to deepen its financial inclusion goals.

 

Deremi Atanda, executive director, who spoke on the sidelines of Digital Pay Expo in Lagos at the weekend, said there are many issues around the push for financial inclusion, adding that literacy is one of them.

 

He stressed the imperative for a special fund to drive financial inclusion, adding that the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF) is an example of the intervention the Federal Government could make to ease the drive on the lenders.

 

“I think the banks are committed to financial literacy but it won’t happen in one year. It is a commitment for 2020, which didn’t start yesterday. I have been part of the commitment since 2007. We need to evaluate where we are, so we don’t get derailed, and where we want to be. These are the kind of things we must do. When those targets were set, we have the financial implication of what it will cost, which is not the same now. So, who is going to plug that gap for 2020 dream to be realised? Along the way, there have been many disruptions they didn’t factor in, both the economic aspect and technology.

 

“The honest truth is that the pervasiveness of technology is going to make the realisation of these things a lot easier, faster but someone needs to be committed to facilitating it. USPF for example (in the telecoms sector), is there (to ensure that the unserved and underserved rural communities are reached through service subsidy). There is need for a commitment in terms of funding to make sure financial inclusion happen. It might interest you that majority of people investing in that are foreign institutions such as the Bill Melinda Foundation and you ask yourself where the counterpart funding is coming from local institutions. The bank has just committed itself to SINEF, which is rolling out about 500, 000 agents, which CBN is also part of.

 

“But don’t forget that the interface of business with the realisation of national policy, money will go after money. If the agents are just to work to achieve a national policy that will not be economically beneficiary to them, somebody must incentive it so that national objection is realise. It is just a matter of time, when that business is worthwhile and there is a plug in from the right agencies of the government, sooner than you think that will happen,” he said.

 

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Remittances to Developing Countries at £349bn – World Bank

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World Bank statistics show that remittances to developing countries grew for the first time in two years, from £322 billion to £349 billion in 2017, according to global money transfer brand Xpress, which has called for more collaboration between stakeholders to “help the movement of money and boost economies.”

The remittance service says the estimated 232 million migrants worldwide contribute over £460bn in remittances to the economies of their origin.

Specifically, the business believes driving down the cost of remittances should be a priority.

“The average cost of global remittances starts at 7.13%, and despite earlier efforts by the G8 to drive this down to 5% by 2014, and the UN seeking a reduction to 3% by 2030, migrant workers are feeling the pinch as remittance costs still remain high,” according to Xpress Money.

It argues that deeper collaboration between money transfer operators and financial institutions will lead to a reduction in the global average cost of remittance – primarily through the abolishment of exclusivity contracts the company says is prevalent in the industry.

Xpress Money COO, Sudhesh Giriyan said: “Migrant remittances play a key role in transforming lives and economies around the world. Even small amounts sent home have a big impact on the lives of the people receiving it and the communities they live in.

“With many moving thousands of miles to help keep loved ones out of poverty, we wanted to use International Day of Family Remittances to celebrate migrant workers. #WeSaluteYou is a small tribute to our customers and all migrants across the world for their selfless contribution to their loved ones.”

Xpress Money explains that the International Day of Family Remittances recognises the financial contribution of migrant workers towards the wellbeing of their families and to the development of their countries of origin.

It is also aimed at encouraging the public and private sectors to collaborate “to maximise the impact remittances in the developing world.”

The #WeSaluteYou campaign will run across Instagram, Facebook and Twitter through the day.

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