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itex Expands Service Portfolio, Unveils New Brand Identity

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L-R: Dr. Frederick Igbinedion, Chairman; Ernest Uduje, MD/CEO, Ibiyemi Okuwoga, Head Sales and Marketing, and, Sanusi Segun, Senior Software Developer, all of itex Integrated Services Limited during a press briefing to announce the company’s expansion at Four Points by Sheraton Hotel, Lagos on Thursday.

itex Integrated Services Limited, an innovative fintech company that designs and deploys secure solutions to diverse customers has announced plans to expand its range of services for the Pan-African market.

The company has also unveiled a new brand identity that reflects its growth and transformation.

With the Nigerian government’s push for a cashless economy and the payment industry’s shift towards electronic payments, itex has expanded its service offerings from payment channels to include PayVice, TAMS, Internet Payment Gateway, Afrimart and Bespoke Services for its clients.

  • itex Point-of-Sale (POS) software/terminals – itex POS terminal application software is highly robust, with extreme flexibilities that allows for customized transactions (both traditional and digital) required by merchants or acquirers.

itex has an extensive client portfolio spanning 19 African countries, with more than 67,000 POS terminals deployed to merchants, commercial banks, agent network, transnational corporations and governments across Africa.

  • PayVice is a value-added service which includes an electronic wallet system that enables funds transfers, utility, transport and logistics bill payments. PayVice also enables QR Code payments.
  • TAMS – itex’s Terminal Application Management System (TAMS) platform, is a highly robust and multifunctional e-commerce platform with features including EMV cards switching and processing capabilities, as well as digital payment channels with features like QR code payment, reporting and automated fraud prevention systems, to name a few. TAMS also enables the distribution of value added services like vending electronic airtime, Insurance and other bill payments, with the integration to core banking systems for transaction processing and other third-party platforms payments, it makes payment and value distribution seamless.
  • Itex Internet Payment Gateway is a platform for processing online payments for online retailers, omni channels or traditional brick and mortar stores.
  • Afrimart is a platform designed to create new business opportunities for African SMEs and general merchants on the quest for growth and expansion by creating visibility and accessibility to African buyers and suppliers.

According to Mr. Ernest Uduje, Managing Director and CEO, itex Integrated Services Ltd, “itex has continued to pioneer the payment landscape in Africa.

As the fintech sector continues to grow, itex is well positioned to provide innovative solutions to clients across Africa.  The new brand further demonstrates our commitments to transform our sector to offer more digital products and services.

During this growth phase, the company will continue to expand its client base and technology partners. Consequently, fintech start-ups will be able to accelerate their business growth by leveraging itex’s robust infrastructure and network.”

In partnership with the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Nigerian Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS), itex played a key role in the initial implementation of an interoperability platform for the successful cashless Nigeria rollout; where TAMS platform supported 150,000 POS terminal deployed nationwide.

In addition, itex facilitated the multi-card acceptance (Visa, MasterCard, Verve etc) and payment channels across all major financial institutions in Nigeria.

Itex has continued to create the Implementation of cutting-edge technology to design secure solutions for diverse customers and has a flexible back-end that enables stakeholders plug in seamlessly.

itex’s brand revamp will also help to reflect the company’s unique approach to delivering flawless payment solutions. The creative mix of deep blue, pale blue and lime green signify stability, freshness, professionalism and nobility, reinforcing the company’s ethos as an innovative Fintech company with secured solutions.

As a responsible corporate citizen, itex places considerable emphasis on investment that are beneficial to the society.

As part of the company’s drive to push business boundaries and deliver exceptional value, it has continued to invest in its employees to be able to provide the right strategic response to the complex and dynamic operating environment.

The company has also adopted methodical strategies and technologically differentiated its products offering ensuring best quality, at affordable prices. Itex’s environmental efforts involve creating sustainable business practices and giving people greater access to the financial system, creating a more diverse group of engaged contributors and participants.

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E-Financial

FBN Launches Chat Banking to Ease Transactions

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First Bank of Nigeria has launched its Chat Banking on WhatsApp to harness optimal digital banking offerings that enhances ease of banking and convenience for its customers.

 

Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, managing director/CEO, First Bank of Nigeria Limited & Subsidiaries, affirmed the bank’s commitment to utilise evolving technology in delivering easy banking services and products

 

Speaking during the launch in Lagos, Adeduntan said the FirstMobile app, Firstonline, FirstMonie and USSD banking are some of the channels in place to achieve the digital feat with the FirstBank Chat Banking on WhatsApp as latest addition.

 

“We are offering quality financial services and devising new ways of efficiently meeting customers’ monetary needs. FirstBank Chat Banking on WhatsApp is another significant milestone in our mission to provide convenient and fast payment solutions to our customers. It is one of the ways FirstBank puts You First and enables you stay connected with your contacts, loved ones, friends and finances all on the GO whilst you chat with them because at FirstBank we are driven to boost relationships on all fronts anywhere and anytime.

 

“It is a new channel for access to our services, that is, a convenient way to make payment and an easy-to-use banking application. Banking with FirstBank on WhatsApp is secure, accessible and convenient. You can now carry out basic banking transactions such as inter and intra bank funds transfer, pay bills, buy airtime, buy data and check your account balance on your WhatsApp,” he said.

 

He added that customer’s banking details are secured as a WhatsApp banking PIN and all transaction authentications will be done using a safe link.

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Court Grants CBN More Time to Resolve Settlement with MTN

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A Lagos court on Wednesday adjourned the hearing over the $8.1 billion dispute between the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and MTN Nigeria until the 22nd of January.

 

Sitting at the Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Justice Saliu Saidu, after hearing submissions from learned counsel on both sides, granted the bank’s request that parties be allowed further time to pursue an out-of-court resolution.

“We are still making moves towards an out of court settlement,” a CBN lawyer told the court.
The Attorney General, listed as a co-defendant to the suit, agreed on the move to reach a resolution, a lawyer representing his office said in court, meaning that both co-defendants have now confirmed they are in settlement discussions.

The dispute is over the transfer of $8.1 billion of funds which Nigeria’s central bank said the company had sent abroad in breach of foreign-exchange regulations. MTN has consistently denied any wrongdoing.

 

In court filings, the company cited a 2016 Senate investigation where the CBN, in sworn testimony, said that the company complied with its foreign exchange regulations.

 

The bank’s Governor, Godwin Emefiele had told journalists in London in November and at October’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting that any resolution will not be anywhere close to the $8.1 billion it had initially asked from the company, fueling speculation as to what a possible settlement will look like and whether or not MTN actually committed an infraction.

Nigeria is MTN’s biggest market, serving  56 million people and accounting for a third of the MTN Group’s annual profit.

 

 

 

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Ecobank Appoints MFS Africa as Digital Payment Partner

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Ecobank, the Pan-African bank has announced today the appointment of MFS Africa as Digital payment partner enabling cross-platform payment services for Ecobank account holders.

The partnership allows Ecobank customers to send and receive money to and from over 170 million mobile money users through an integration with MFS Africa that covers all Telcos in the MFS Africa Hub. The service is both domestic and crossborder intra-Africa transfers leveraging Rapidtransfer, a proprietary instant remittance product of Ecobank.

Ecobank operates in 33 African countries, serving over twenty million customers. In line with the bank’s digital strategy, the partnership with MFS Africa Hub creates the first major initiative of interoperability between bank account and mobile money customers.

This brings greater value for mobile money customers as they can now send money directly to any bank account in Ecobank without infrastructural hinderances; conversely Ecobank customers can do the same.

MFS Africa operates the largest mobile payments hub network in sub-Saharan Africa, connecting over 170 million mobile wallets, and a wide network of money transfer operators and merchants. Through partnerships with mobile network operators including MTN, Orange, Airtel, Moov, Econet, Tigo, Safaricom and Vodafone, MFS Africa allows mobile financial services to scale across borders, currencies and networks with a Pan African Bank like Ecobank.

“The partnership between Ecobank and MFS Africa represents a significant step in building pan-African linkages between mobile money services and traditional banking channels”, says Ade Ayeyemi, CEO of Ecobank Group.

“Typically, banks and other financial service providers seeking to integrate to mobile wallet systems are confined to domestic markets with almost no interoperability among networks in a single country, let alone across borders, severely inhibiting utility, efficiency, and customer experience. The collaboration between Ecobank Banking Group and MFS Africa eliminates this hurdle and accelerates the ecosystem, driving financial inclusion and offering a greater range of options to Africans”

While conventional wisdom pits banks and mobile money services against each other as incumbents threatened by disruptors, the reality is quite different. Interoperable crossplatform services expand the pie of financial possibilities, bringing more choice and value to consumers using bank accounts or mobile wallets, and leveraging the strengths of both types of players.

Speaking on the partnership, Dare Okoudjou, founder and CEO of MFS Africa says that the region’s financial inclusion landscape offers exciting opportunities for innovation and collaboration between Banks, other financial institutions, Mobile Money Operators and Fintech.

“We’re proud to offer seamless payments across networks and borders into the next frontier of financial inclusion – mobile wallets – to Ecobank customers. Historically, the relationship between banks and fintech has been competitive but Ecobank has demonstrated a win-win approach to partnership that takes care of every stakeholder in the value chain. Ecobank is the first financial institution that shares the MFS Africa vision to make financial services more seamless, convenient, and interoperable across Africa”.

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