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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.

E-Financial

Oyo State Seals Diamond Bank, FCMB, Skye Bank Branches

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Oyo State government yesterday sealed some branches of commercials banks in Ibadan for allegedly failing to pay some levies into the coffers of the state government despite series of warnings to them.

 

The affected banks are: Diamond Bank, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Skye Bank, FCMB and Heritage Bank around Dugbe, Mokola, Idi-Ape, Agodi Gate, Secretariat Road, Challenge, Jericho, Bodija, UI among others.

 

This left business activities at the bank branches disrupted as the task force officials seal the premises.

 

As early as 9am, no fewer than 20 different branches of the various bank had been shut with sealed notices placed at the property.

 

Immediately, the officials of the affected banks were seen running around to tidy up their papers to save losing the whole day’s business.

 

While some succeeded in making the necessary payment as fast as they could to resume operations, some others were seen still trying to reach out to superior authority for further directive.

 

According to the report, the affected banks defaulted in the payment of the annual environmental development levy, which is for the impact of the various business and corporate entities on the environment across the state.

 

The affected banks were said to have been found guilt for various duration ranging from 2015 to 2018, despite series of official communications and reminders to the management at different times.

 

It would be recalled that the Oyo State Board of Internal Revenue (OYBIR), the coordinating agency for collecting all government revenues had last month issued a 14 day ultimate to all tax payers in the state to pay up all outstanding dues and levies to the coffers of government.

 

Mr Bicci Alli, chairman of the Board,  had warned in the paid advertorial that the agency would embark on massive enforcement to seal up all erring corporate organisations on the expiration of the ultimatum.

 

But a source hinted that about two weeks after the expiration of the 14 days, the OYBIR had also written series of reminder letters to the affected banks, to which no response was gotten until the enforcement.

 

Many people who were within the affected bank premises when the enforcement team sealed up were seen with shock on the faces and expressing disappointment that cooperate organizations like banks could default in tax payment.

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CBN to Fine Banks N10,000 for Failed e-Transactions

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has warned banks that any failed electronic transaction not reversed into the customer’s account within 24 hours will attract a fine of N10,000.

 

The apex bank made this known in its ‘Circular on the regulation on instant inter-bank electronic funds transfer services in Nigeria’, issued to Deposit Money Banks, microfinance banks, and other financial institutions.

 

In the circular CBN also said that delayed application of inward NIP into beneficiary’s accounts beyond four minutes would attract a penalty fee of N10,000 per item.

 

 

The circular, signed by Dipo Fatokun, CBN’s director of banking and payment system department, said the new regulation takes effect October 2, 2018.

 

The circular stated that where a sending entity erroneously sent value contrary to the customer’s instructions due to wrong account number, wrong amount, duplication among others to a receiving entity and requested the reversal in writing within 14 working days of the transaction, the receiving entity should oblige within one business day without recourse to the customer (beneficiary) of the receiving entity provided funds were available.

 

An automatic indemnity would be inferred against the sending entity making the reversal request, it stated.

 

Where funds were not available, it added, the receiving entity should immediately notify its customer that the account was wrongly credited and provide proof of such notification to the sending entity.

 

It added that the receiving entity should notify the customer about the consequences of not funding the account within 24 hours, which included watch-listing in the banking industry, credit bureau and reporting to law enforcement agencies.

 

In the circular, the receiving entity would watch-list the customer if he failed to provide funds within seven days, the CBN stated.

 

If a customer claims to have made a transfer in error where the beneficiary is known to the complainant, the CBN said the Sending Entity shall encourage the complainant to contact the beneficiary for an amicable settlement.

 

But where the beneficiary is not known to the complainant or a known beneficiary refused to effect a refund to the complainant, the Sending Entity having received a tenable claim from customer shall notify the Receiving Entity who shall place a lien on the amount in the account of the beneficiary and thereafter obtain the consent of the beneficiary to execute refund.

 

The circular explained that the Sending Entity shall mean a Nigerian company or Financial Institution licensed by the CBN to carry on the business of facilitating Electronic Funds Transfer services in Nigeria and who initiates an Instant EFT on behalf of its customers while the Receiving Entity shall mean a Nigerian company or Financial Institution licensed by the CBN to carry on the business of facilitating Electronic Funds Transfer services in Nigeria and who receives the proceeds of Instant EFT on behalf of its customer.

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Access Bank Partners Worldremit On Money Transfer

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WorldRemit, international digital money transfer service has partnered with Access Bank for instant money transfers to Access Bank accounts in Nigeria.

 

The new partnership further expands WorldRemit’s presence in Nigeria, allowing its customers in over 50 countries to send money to millions of Access Bank accounts directly from their phones.

 

Access Bank is a leading commercial bank in Nigeria, with an extensive network of millions of customer accounts and over 340 branches.

 

The new partnership with WorldRemit would increase convenience and ease of banking for Access Bank’s customers in Nigeria as well as support the country’s efforts to achieve financial inclusion.

 

Plans to grow the partnership would connect over 15 million Access Bank customers in Nigeria, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana, Rwanda, the Gambia, Sierra Leone and Zambia to WorldRemit’s best in class online money transfer experience.

 

The deal supports WorldRemit’s plan to serve 10 million customers connected to emerging markets by 2020. With a diaspora of 15 million people living in countries including the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada, remittances play a significant role in Nigeria’s economy.

 

The World Bank estimates that in 2017 alone Nigeria received $22 billion in remittances, making it the largest recipient in Africa.

 

Andrew Stewart, regional director of Africa and the Middle East at WorldRemit, commented, “We are delighted to be partnering with Access Bank, a leading commercial bank in Nigeria with a strong presence across Africa.

 

“Nigeria remains our largest market in Africa, accounting for one quarter of all transactions to the continent, and this partnership will support the country’s transition from offline remittances to online, safer, faster and lower-cost money transfer methods.”

 

Victor Etuokwu, executive director at Access Bank Plc, said, “It is with great pleasure that Access Bank Plc is partnering with WorldRemit, a reputable global payment service, to provide our customers with secure and reliable international money transfers.

 

“As a top player in the remittance industry in Nigeria, our extensive branch network and large customer base will be invaluable to this partnership, and we are confident that this relationship will be mutually beneficial to both parties. This alliance also supports Access Bank’s aspiration of being Africa’s gateway to the world.”

 

Last year WorldRemit became Arsenal FC’s first-ever online money transfer partner in a global sponsorship deal.

 

WorldRemit customers complete one million transfers every month from over 50 countries to over 145 destinations. More than half of its transfers go to Africa.

 

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