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UBA, Ixaris Deliver eCommerce to 10m across Africa

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Phillips Oduoza is the GMD/CEO of UBA Group

 

United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc yesterday announced a deal with Ixaris and its Nigerian partner Ojapay to deploy a virtual card platform across its twenty African markets.  

UBA will use Ixaris Payment Server to deliver innovative payment options for individuals and corporates.

The e-commerce market in Africa is predicted to reach $75 billion by 2025[1]. However, many consumers and businesses across the continent currently lack a secure, convenient and low-cost means to make purchases online.

To take a share of the market opportunity, UBA selected Ixaris Payments Server to quickly and cost-effectively deploy payments programs based on virtual prepaid cards.

“We have partnered with Ixaris and Ojapay to make this convenient payment option available to customers because virtual cards are not only easy and convenient to use but also protect users against online fraud. They will offer our customers across Africa a new layer protection and security for their online transactions.” said Kennedy Uzoka, deputy managing director and CEO, UBA Africa.  

Complementing its range of physical card products and mobile banking applications, UBA’s new virtual card option will enable more than 10 million customers across twenty African markets to make safe and easy online purchases at any online merchant worldwide.

The new virtual payment card will also enable UBA Corporate Clients to take advantage of the wider range of goods and services available on the Internet, while also enhancing internal controls through full traceability of purchasing and payments activities.

Virtual cards work in the same way as plastic payment cards but are issued in electronic rather than physical form. They have now become the payment instrument of choice for a range of flexible solutions for payments-related problems faced by consumers and corporate organisations in many regions of the world.  

Virtual cards are indistinguishable from physical cards when used for payments and are already accepted at millions of merchants worldwide that accept Visa or MasterCard payments.  

In contrast to plastic, virtual cards can be issued to any connected device instantly and at almost zero cost.

“Virtual cards offer our customers an exciting new option to securely consummate their transactions. As one of Africa’s leading banks, we are proud to offer customers another innovative payment solutions. The changing dynamics of the African banking industry means that we have to constantly seek value-adding partnerships that meet the financial challenges faced by our customers.” Uzoka said.

Alex Mifsud, founder and CEO of Ixaris, commented: “We are excited to be working with UBA, one of the most respected banks in Africa, to help bring safe and convenient e-commerce to millions of people who can really benefit from it. This deal shows how open payments platforms like Ixaris Payments Server are transforming how banks approach the product development lifecycle for payments.  By using this technology, enterprising banks like UBA can bring compelling payment applications to the market at a fraction of the time and cost it would take using traditional methods”.

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek believes that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. So since 2007, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and how they affect lives.

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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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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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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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