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Secure Mobile Banking apps Set to Deliver Broader Range of Services



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Banking apps on mobile phones, which use sophisticated security and authentication technology, are starting to offer a wider set of online transactional services to consumers.

Fears about security are one of the last barriers to more widespread mobile transactions, but people trust their banking apps and are increasingly prepared to use them to buy more goods and services.
“In future, banks will start using their investment in technology, and the trusted relationship they have with their customers, to offer a growing variety of transactional activities to businesses and consumers,” said Schalk Nolte, CEO of fintech company, Entersekt.
“Banking apps bridge the divide between people’s physical and digital identity and provide the means to eliminate fraud from mobile online transactions,” he said.
Using mobile devices, consumers are able to connect with just about any retailer or service provider online – but they don’t know who they can trust. The uptake of mobility has also brought with it a surge in malware and related security risks.
“On the other hand, people already have a trusted relationship with their banks,” says Nolte, “after all – banks have your money.”
He said a banking app on a smartphone is a secure digital channel linked to the real world – and the app can also be used to offer a broader range of services beyond just banking.
“For example, using a banking app can make real-time insurance possible. Say you buy a watch on a Saturday night and want to insure it straight away – where are you going to get hold of an insurer at that time? Using a banking app you can get a real-time location check, take a photo of the watch and have it insured immediately for 36 hours or until it can be specified on an existing policy.
“To use another example, if you wanted to buy some extra life insurance on holiday to cover an elevated risk activity like rock climbing, you could do it easily and securely using a banking app.”
Nolte said banking apps will offer a level of convenience not matched elsewhere when shopping online.
“Because consumers have a relationship with their bank – it is essentially the custodian of their digital identity – they don’t have to enroll for new services or download or buy anything. The bank also has their card details. As new services become available through the banking app, so new features appear – and people are comfortable with that.”
The business volumes are significant and growing, according to Nolte. In March Entersekt’s technology helped secure and authenticate 110 million app sessions globally.
“Authentication is the cornerstone of trust,” he said, “and this is how additional services will be brought to market through increasingly capable banking apps. Authentication also enables mobility, and in addition to bringing new products and services to market, can save millions in driving customer services through apps rather than physical locations.”

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Vodacom Director Urges Accountants to Leverage Sage/ACCA Partnership



By peter oluka

Mr Oluseyi Olanrewaju, the finance director at Vodacom Business Africa (Nigeria) Limited, has re-emphasised the need for accounting professionals to embrace digital culture.

He made the remark while delivering keynote address at Sage-ACCA Continuing Professional Development (CPA), event held in Lagos Tuesday, which was the launch of partnership between the two entities to provide platform for accountants to embrace digital transformations.

Olanrewaju emphasized that rapid growth and development in information technology has brought about digital revolution in economic, social and cultural fields, and bequeaths today’s accountant with the responsibility to improve on the skills to remain relevant.

With the recognition of the accounting discipline as an information system, he said, the accountants can’t undermine the influence that the changes in processes of carrying out transactions with the usage of IT in business operations.

In a bid to keep up with changing conditions and the enabling inclusion of information era the need to embrace the digital culture in accountancy can’t be overlooked especially in medium to large scale business.

“Technology should not be viewed as a threat rather tools to boost accounting profession. Digitization is the future; as accountants we can’t run from it. Yes, manual processes are ridden with high risks on accounting and costly. Thus, changes is the environment necessitates changes in applicable accounting tools and skills required to carry out accounting roles”, Olanrewaju said.

Determinants of business that qualify as medium to large include: IT staff & skills including several specialists, multiple locations, large capex in relation to other businesses in operation in the same industry and business with main considerations for technology purchases being advanced features and security.

Using the acronym: VUCA- Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous situations, he reminded the participants that, roles of accountants have changed overtime, demanding for real-time ‘results’. “The environment demands you react quickly to ongoing changes that are unpredictable; it requires you to take action. Therefore, there is little you can achieve today in the ‘VUCA’ world without digitization”.

The keynote speaker also applauded Sage X3 offering, such as robust accounting processes; consistency; time saving; delivers visible metrics; helps to improve operational efficiency and assists users to be in line with government regulations and international accounting rules.

Participants at the interactive session with other C-level ACCA members also learnt how Sage X3 offers the bedrock of the adjustments required in today’s accounting field.

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CBN 14% Interest Rate: Investors Still Expecting Cut



Lukman Otunuga, a research analyst at FXTM.

By peter oluka

Nigeria’s central bank has yet again left benchmark interest rates unchanged at 14% in November amid a ‘fragile’ economic recovery.

But, Lukman Otunuta research analyst ForexTimes, in his comment, believes investors are still keen on interest rate cut.

The apex bank also left the cash reserve ratio (CRR) at 22.5 percent.

CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele made this known on Tuesday while announcing the decision of the committee in Abuja.

Emefiele said only one of the nine members of the committee voted against the decision.

“Inflation in particular requires very close monitoring to gain clarity on the medium-term optimum path of monetary policy,” Emefiele told a news conference.

The monetary Policy Committee had begun its last meeting for the year on Monday.

According to the committee, the interest rate was held to prevent exchange rate pressure.

Commenting on the decision by the apex bank, Otunuga said, “With GDP growth in the third quarter rising by 1.40%, it seems that the central bank is hesitant to take action anytime soon.

“I believe that Nigeria’s improving economic landscape, and signs of inflationary pressures easing, are likely to support investor expectations of a rate cut.

“With inflation in Nigeria at 15.91%, there is a suspicion that the CBN may be waiting for a more sustained decline before moving ahead with rate cuts to support economic growth.

“As the year slowly comes to an end, investors will continue to observe Nigeria’s hard economic data and inflation figures for hints as to when the CBN might act in 2018”.

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Bitcoin Smashes Through $8,000 for the First time



Bitcoin hit a new record high on Monday after smashing through the $8,000 level for the first time over the weekend, marking an almost 50 percent climb in just eight days.

The new high came after leading U.S. payments company Square Inc said late last week that it had started allowing select customers to buy and sell bitcoins on its Cash app.

Bitcoin traded as high as $8,197.81 on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange, up over 2 percent on the day and around 48 percent up since dipping to $5,555 on Nov. 12.

An eye-watering eightfold increase in the value of the volatile cryptocurrency since the start of the year has led to muliple warnings that the market is in a bubble, and institutional investors are broadly staying away.

Retail investors, however, as well as some hedge funds and family offices, are piling into the market. The “market cap” of all cryptocurrencies hit an all-time high of over $242 billion on Monday, according to trade website Coinmarketcap.

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