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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

CBN Predicts 3 pct GDP Growth in 2019

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The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, expects the economy to pick up in 2019, forecasting a gross domestic product growth of 3 percent, up from 1.9 percent recorded last year, its governor Godwin Emefiele said.

Emefiele said the bank would maintain its tight monetary stance in 2019, and sees inflation at 11.31 percent in February and rising to 12 percent this year before moderating.

The governor, who is set to step down in June, told an economic conference in Lagos that the economy would see more growth as the recovery is becoming self-sustaining.

Economic growth has been recovering since the third quarter of 2016, when the recession bottomed out. Higher oil prices helped Nigeria exit that contraction. In 2018, the economy grew at its fastest pace since the recession.

Emefiele expects volatility in the crude oil market to put pressure on the currency but the central bank would maintain its stance on exchange rate over the next year.

He said more than $6 billion had flowed into the local bond market since last month’s presidential election as foreign investors piled into debt to lock in yields as high as 14 percent.

Bond investors had been worried elections would turn violent, not about who won. President Muhammadu Buhari has favoured a strong and stable currency, which bondholders hope will continue.

Buhari won a second term in charge of Africa’s biggest economy in February, defeating his pro-business rival Atiku Abubakar who had touted privatizations and float the currency as some of the ways to grow the economy.

 

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Andrew Dell, Ex-CEO of HSBC Africa Now Senior Advisor to Asoko Insight

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Asoko Insight, Africa’s leading corporate information platform, is delighted to announce the appointment of Andrew Dell as Senior Advisor.

 

As part of its 2019 plan to introduce leading-edge digital tools for global banks to identify and onboard African companies, Asoko Insight has brought on board Andrew Dell as Senior Advisor.

 

African banks and global investors endure significant challenges when it comes to the efficiency of industry sizing, lead generation, on-boarding, and KYC processes. In his role, Andrew will help expand Asoko’s Verify Africa platform among banks and private equity firms active across the continent, supporting their objectives to reduce due diligence costs and grow their pan-African footprint.

 

Rob Withagen, CEO, Asoko Insight said:  “Andrew’s experience and track record are second to none and we’re thrilled to have him on board. He brings a robust knowledge of the KYC and compliance issues that African banks face and which Asoko aims to overcome.”

 

Andrew Dell, Senior Advisor, Asoko Insight said, “Sourcing reliable information to identify, verify and onboard corporate clients across Africa is time-consuming and expensive. Asoko’s purpose-built solutions are addressing the challenge by providing enterprise-access to instant, accurate and up-to-date information on the continent’s leading growth markets, businesses and the people who run them.”

 

 

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Founder Open Vector to Address Nigerian Bankers on Open Banking Opportunities

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Carlos Figueredo, CEO and founder of Open Vector, a professional consultancy firm founded in 2017 with its forte in open banking, PSD2, GDPR and payments, he has consented to headline the Open Banking Masterclass, one of the key attractions of Lagos Fintech Week on April 23, 2019, in Lagos-Nigeria, West Africa.

According to the statement signed by the chairman organizing committee, Dr. Yele Okeremi, Lagos Fintech Week [LFW] is an invigorating week of distinct FinTech events that delivers exciting discussions, stimulating demos and insightful debates. “It is scheduled for April 23-26, 2019 at Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos”, he said.

He explained that Open Banking is a trend that is poised to transform how banking is done over the next decade. While only a few countries have started or are in the process of starting. The traction is so strong and it is expected that this trend will become dominant in five years.

“Nigeria cannot afford to lag behind, as we have had various conversations whether we should have open banking, how we should do it, and what are the benefits. This is why we are bringing an expert of Carlos’ status who has wealth of experience and fundamentals of the needs for Open Banking to lead the Masterclass at Lagos Fintech Week in April”.

He pointed out that Figueredo is a recognised open banking SME with over 20 years’ experience in payments, SWIFT, SEPA and PSD2 and started open banking in 2016 as the Head of Data Standards for the UK Open Banking Implementation Entity (OBIE).

Dr. Okeremi said that Figueredo oversaw the ISO 20022 based standard development and the relevant technical elements needed to integrate it across the array of product-based API’s for OBIE, which was the first initiative globally in the banking sector, or any other sector, to have done so.

“In quarter three of 2018 Open Vector was granted by the British Embassy of Mexico City and the Prosperity Fund a component of phase 1 of the Fintech Law delivery. Carlos worked alongside the CNBV (National Banking and Securities Commission) to develop and implement the data standards, which will go live in April 2019.

 

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