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Lebara Partners WorldRemit to Launch Money Transfers to Nigeria

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Lebara and WorldRemit, two leading brands serving international residents, have entered into a strategic partnership making WorldRemit the exclusive global money transfer partner of Lebara, including transfers to Nigeria.

The deal allows over 3 million Lebara Mobile and Lebara Money users to use WorldRemit’s digital money transfer service seamlessly, directly from the Lebara app and website. This supports WorldRemit’s plan to serve 10 million customers connected to emerging markets by 2020.

Lebara customers living in the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Denmark and Netherlands will benefit from WorldRemit’s extensive payout network in over 145 countries. This will provide a more convenient and lower cost alternative to the 90% of migrants who still send money through offline routes.

As part of the deal, WorldRemit will also benefit from co-branding in Lebara’s full retail estate stores and advertising in Lebara Mobile simpacks sold in 260,000 stores across western Europe.

Ismail Ahmed, founder and CEO at WorldRemit said: “We are delighted to be partnering with one of the world’s premier MVNO brands targeting international residents in Europe, giving its users access to our mobile-first service. With more than 260,000 points of sale, Lebara’s visibility and brand awareness complements WorldRemit’s strong digital capability. This partnership will introduce our safe, fast and low-cost remittance service to millions of new customers.

“WorldRemit has been working with telecommunication partners on the receive side, but this is our first strategic partnership with a mobile operator on the send side. We look forward to strengthening our leading position in the market with equally ambitious partnerships in the future.”

Graeme Oxby, CEO of Lebara Group adds: “This initiative is in response to a growing need of our valued customer base. Many of Lebara’s customers send money home to relatives and friends and we are delighted to be able to partner with WorldRemit to offer a simple to use and highly cost effective service”.

“Lebara mobile’s leadership position in the growing international residents market in Europe, coupled with a surge in smartphone users, creates an ideal platform for launching new and exciting services through partnerships. Our partners get unique access to a customer base which few other mobile companies can match.”

WorldRemit handles a growing share of the $600 billion migrant money transfer market – better known as remittances.

Known for its mobile-first approach, one third of its transactions go to mobile money accounts; it currently handles 74% of international money transfers to mobile money accounts globally.

WorldRemit’s digital model allows customers to complete their transactions in just a few taps from a smartphone. Worldremit customers make more than 1 million transactions every month, using its app or website.

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E-Financial

Fidelity Bank MD Not On The Run – Bank

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Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo

Fidelity Bank Plc has said that Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo, its managing director/CEO, has not jumped bail, clarifying that he was on a sick leave.

 

The bank in a statement expressed shock at the online media report, stressing that it was a “responsible corporate citizen and staff members, including the MD/CEO, conduct their operations in line with the laws of the Federation”.

 

The statement read: “Our attention has been drawn to recent online media re¬ports that Fidelity Bank MD/CEO has jumped bail. The reports are completely untrue and the facts of the matter are hereby presented as follows;

 

“The MD/CEO has been away on medical leave, which was duly approved by the Board, since December 4, 2018.

 

“The Bank informed the CBN Governor of this development as the MD/CEO was unable to attend the annual Bankers Committee retreat held between December 8 & 9, 2018, on ac¬count of this. An Executive Director represented the bank.

 

“The Bank received a letter from the EFCC about 48 hours ago, requesting for the attention of the MD/CEO.

 

The Bank responded to the EFCC immediately that the MD/CEO was on medical vacation and gave an indicative date that he will report to the Commission.

 

“The Bank also attached the following documents to the response; the leave approval by the Board Chair¬man and the letter sent to the CBN Governor on the inability of the MD/CEO to attend the Bankers Committee retreat”.

The bank continued: “We are therefore shocked by the misleading reports in the online media and have provided the above clarifications to set the records straight.

 

“Fidelity Bank is a responsible corporate citizen and staff members, including the MD/CEO, conduct their operations in line with the laws of the Federation”, it concluded.

 

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E-Financial

CBN says TSA Transactions Value Hit N13.53trn in 2017

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says the migration of the Federal Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to the Treasury Single Account (TSA) has led to positive growth in the value and volume of transactions recorded in end to end payments in 2017.

The bank made the assertion in the 2017 Annual Activity Report released by its Banking and Payments System Department on its Website.

It also attributed the growth to the rise in the number of MDAs accounts migrated to the TSA.

The CBN said that the value of transactions recorded at the period reviewed stood at N13.53 trillion from the N10.65 trillion in 2016, representing an increase of 27.01 per cent.

The apex bank also said that volume of transaction grew with an increase of 3.84 per cent to record 39.7 million in 2017 as against the 38.24 million recorded in 2016.

According to the CBN, the payment instructions comprises recurrent, overhead and capital expenditure.

On the TSA implementation, the bank added that during the year, stakeholders’ engagements took place to improve the operations and address some of the challenges facing it.

“In order to engender healthy competition and ensure effective service delivery, the Federal Government’s TSA payment gateway model was modified to accommodate other service providers.

“The aggregator model was developed to bring in more players into the e-collection process, thereby providing a level playing ground for all the Payments Service Providers (PSPs), with NIBSS as the aggregator.

“The initiative was driven by the Federal Ministry of Finance (FMF) with the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF) as the implementing agency, in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria,” it said.

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E-Financial

Nigeria’s OneFi Secures First Ever Credit Rating for an African Fintech

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One Finance Limited (OneFi) announces that is has been assigned a “BB” rating with a Stable outlook, from Global Credit Rating Co. The company behind Paylater, Nigeria’s leading digital financial services platform that specialises in consumer lending, becomes Africa’s first fintech company to secure such a rating, as it looks to increase transparency around its credit and lending service.

Global Credit Rating Co. is Africa’s leading ratings agency, accounting for the majority of all ratings accorded on the African continent.

The report analysed key financial and operational factors including risk management, liquidity positioning, borrowings and capital under management. In arriving at this rating of “BB” with a Stable outlook, Global Credit Rating Co’s analysis found that OneFi is well capitalised vis-a-vis its current risk level, and also highlighted the fact that the company currently has a low liquidity risk.

Commenting on the news, Chijioke Dozie, OneFi CEO says, “The entire process of securing this rating from Global Credit Rating has been rigorous, testing, but ultimately, hugely beneficial for the company.

It has allowed us to scrutinise our finance and business models, as well as provide full transparency not only to our stakeholders, but to Paylater’s tens of thousands of customers across Nigeria.

“The work does not stop here. We are a young company, and the very first African fintech platform to be awarded with a credit score, and whilst we are pleased with our “BB” rating and Stable Outlook, which we believe fairly reflects our current standing, we are now focussed on expanding our product offering, improving our asset quality, driving up customer loan applications and looking at ways in which we can bring our innovative approach to finance management to additional markets”.

Paylater, launched in 2016 by Nigerian finance entrepreneurs Chijioke and Ngozi Dozie, provides hassle-free loans without need for human intervention or bias in decision making.

Loans are disbursed to applicants account within 5 minutes of approval. The credit-as-a-service company aims to be a one-stop-shop where all the financial needs of the Nigerian consumer can be met through one platform.

To-date, the Paylater app has been downloaded over 1 million times with over 1,575 loans approved daily. The average disbursement time is 12 seconds and the average loan borrowed is $80 with a 3 month loan tenor.

As part of its ongoing commitment to transparency, the lending platform has, since September, provided each Paylater loan applicant with a free credit bureau report, irrespective of decision, with 100% reporting of positive and negative data. To date, the company has shared over 60,000 reports with customers.

Chijioke Dozie concludes, “With the Central Bank of Nigeria [CBN] currently revising the Licensing Regime for finance providers and fintech platforms in Nigeria, and with more formality and  regulation surrounding the sector, this was the right time for OneFi to undertake the positive step of securing a credit rating score, as we work to build a legitimate, trusted lending brand. We are now held to the same levels of transparency and scrutiny as other leading financial institutions in Nigeria”.

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