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Unified Payment to Pay Merchants Hourly with UP-HSS

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Agada Apochi

Unified Payments (UP), an electronic payment company in Nigeria, has unveiled what it described as first-in-class solution in the sector tagged: “UP Hourly Settlement Service (UP-HSS).”

 

Agada Apochi, managing director and chief executive officer of the company said that the product is positioned to enable merchants get their monies hourly for every successful e-payment transaction they do.

 

The hourly settlement for every successful e-payment transaction done at their shops, is rather an update of the existing next day settlement known as “Transaction Day + 1” (T + 1), a day after customers have parted with goods or services.

 

The product was inspired by the zeal to meet the needs of merchants, especially Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), for shorter settlement cycle and recycling of their trading capital and to develop a solution that offers their partner banks competitive advantages in growing their merchant acquiring businesses.

UP-HSS was also developed to support the Central Bank of Nigeria’s cash-less initiative to grow the adoption of electronic payments in the country and assist in increasing turn-around time for commerce in Nigeria, thereby assisting to stimulate the nation’s economy and its Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

 

Apochi, said the solution was the first of its kind in this part of the world, and globally, is the first of its kind to be offered by a multi-bank institution.

 

“There is no payment solution provider, processor or switch that offers this service anywhere else that we are aware of.

 

An individual bank may, but that is an arrangement that is internal to each bank.

 

“Where we are today in terms of electronic payments is less than 10 per cent of where we should be and what we seek to offer is at industry level and this history is defined by the need to encourage merchants, retailers and other businesses in Nigeria to adopt electronic payment.

 

“Based on our lead analysis of the market and individual businesses, a big need for the merchants was access to funds.

 

They want to have their funds on timely basis so that they can grow their businesses and if that must be achieved, T + 1 day is not sufficient.

 

“This is a great improvement from where we are coming. Today as T + 1 is now transaction time plus one hour.

 

We have no doubts in our minds that this would be a good reason to why major retailers and merchants would adopt electronic payment.

 

“We hope to see in three to six months from now a switch from cash and other forms of payment to electronic payment.

 

We expect that by six months from now when we take statistics, 80 to 90 per cent of sales at merchants’ outlets would be through electronic channels.”

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

Customers Experience Banking Fraud, Worry About Online Security Measures- Poll

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Researchers of analytics software firm FICO found that majority of Internet users are annoyed with web and phone security measures. Out of 2,000 polled adults, 81% don’t see the need for what they call unnecessary security procedures.

 

64% of the respondents are not happy about the need for elaborate passwords featuring a mix of numbers, symbols and capital letters, and 71% would rather not deal with captcha codes, as they often have illegible words.

 

Overall, more than two-thirds of people (71%) think there are too many security measures nowadays, and 58% are irritated about having to remember email addresses to recover passwords. 78% said they struggle to keep track of all their passwords.

 

“It’s important to provide consumers with smooth, easy customer experience, but at the same time, people need to be educated that security measures are necessary,” said Marty P. Kamden, CMO of NordVPN, a VPN service provider.

 

“Hacking, ransomware and phishing are on a historical rise all over the world. People need to use strong passwords and take precautions when going online. However, there are ways to make this easier – for example, by using a password manager.”

 

More than half of the respondents (55%) said they had been victims of banking fraud.

 

NordVPN offers easy online security tips to make it easier for consumers to deal with all the security measures while keeping them safe online.

 

  1. Use a password manager. Perhaps the most basic requirement for any online account setup is using strong passwords and choosing different passwords for different accounts. Weak passwords make it simple for hackers to break into an account. A strong password has a minimum of 12 characters and includes a strong mix of letters, numbers and characters. In order to easily track all your passwords, it’s recommended to use a password manager, such as truekey.com, LastPass and 1Password.

 

  1. Don’t forget to install the latest security updates. Security updates often contain patches for recent vulnerabilities, which hackers are looking to exploit. It takes just a few minutes, and the update lasts more than a month.

 

  1. Don’t open anything suspicious you get through email. Delete dubious emails from your bank, ISP, credit card company, etc. Never click on any links or attachments in emails you’re not expecting. Never give your personal details if asked via email.

 

  1. Back up all data. Back up your data on an alternate device and keep it unplugged and stored away. Backing up data regularly is the best way to protect yourself from ransomware because only unique information is valuable. It’s an easy and fast process with a long term impact.

 

  1. Use a VPN for additional safety. Using a VPN when browsing can protect you against malware that targets online access points. That’s especially relevant when using a public hotspot. However, keep in mind that a VPN cannot protect you from downloading malware. While a VPN encrypts your activity online, you should be careful when downloading and opening certain files or links.

 

  1. Close pop-up windows safely. Ransomware developers often use pop-up windows that warn you of some kind of malware. Don’t click on the window – instead, close it with a keyboard command or by clicking on your taskbar.

 

  1. Use anti-virus programs. Make sure you have installed one of the latest reputable anti-virus programs to make sure you are fully protected.

 

 

 

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E-Financial

AfDB, AfreximBank Sign Strategic Factoring Project to Support African SMEs

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The African Development Bank, through its Trade Finance operations, and Afreximbank yesterday signed a Grant Agreement to support the development of factoring (a form of debtor finance in which a business sells its accounts receivable (invoices) to a third party (called a factor) at a discount) on the continent.

This is a big step towards both institutions’ unrelenting drive and commitment to continue enabling extra and intra-Africa Trade.

The Fund for African Private Sector Assistance (FAPA) hosted by the African Development Bank will invest US$500,000 towards the total deal size of US$950,000.

This investment is intended to finance the capacity building of a number of identified emerging factoring firms, advisory support among established factoring firms and development of a sustainable knowledge and learning platform to support factoring on the African continent. Afreximbank will contribute US$450,000 towards the technical assistance project.

Representing the African Development Bank, Senior Director in charge of the Nigerian Country Department, Ebrima FAAL emphasized the need for DFIs like to continue playing their role as enablers in enhancing Africa’s ability to financially support its SMEs to meet the demands of regional and global importers/exporters that trade on open account terms.

“Given the multisectoral impact of factoring in supporting businesses within agriculture, manufacturing, telecoms, power generation, partnering with AfreximBank is consistent with our strategic focus as represented under the High 5s namely: Integrate Africa, Feed Africa, Light Up Africa, Industrialize Africa and Improve the standard of living of the people of Africa,” FAAL said.

Abuja holds a special place in the history of Afreximbank as this is where, together with other African governments and key private sector institutions, the Bank helped lay the foundation for the establishment of this institution in 1993.

Mandated to stimulate consistent expansion, diversification and development of African trade, Afreximbank continues to be a significant partner to the Bank in its endeavor to deliver on its commitment to improve the living standards of African people through strategic and impactful trade finance instruments like factoring.

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More Accolades for Leo: UBA Bags Digital Banking across Africa

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Mr. Kennedy Uzoka, group managing director/CEO, UBA Plc

United Bank for Africa Plc, Pan-African financial services group, has once again made an addition to its growing list of enviable laurels as it was named Africa’s best bank  in the Digital category at the prestigious Euromoney awards in London.

 

This further lends credence to UBA’s dominance in the digital banking space. The Euromoney awards ceremony which was held on Wednesday, July 11, 2018 covers more than 20 global product categories, best-in-class awards and the best Banks in over 100 countries around the world, recognising institutions that have demonstrated leadership, innovation, and momentum in the markets in which they operate.

 

In selecting its recipients, Euro money’s principle is hinged both on quantitative and qualitative data to honor institutions that have brought the highest levels of service, innovation and expertise to their customers.

 

At the awards ceremony, UBA beat other nominees taking away the prize for best institution in Digital banking across Africa, an affirmation of its recent investment in cutting edge technology, one of which gave birth to Leo, the chat banker that has disrupted banking across Africa.

 

In a bid to be the undisputed leading financial services industry  in Africa in the area of innovation and technology, UBA has steadily included new and emerging trends to its range of solutions in-branches, across subsidiaries and on digital platforms. The emergence of LEO, has been a continuous directive to push the banking sector beyond financial services and to show that the bank truly comprehends the shift in operations and the movement of the global world with technology today.

 

The Euromoney award, which is a recognition of innovative products and services introduced by the bank in recent times and targeted towards meeting customer needs, comes on the heels of recent awards to UBA, including Finnacle Client Innovation Awards and Best Bank Awards won by five of its subsidiaries across Africa by The Bankers Magazine. UBA was also declared the best Bank in Africa in 2017.

 

Receiving the award at a well attended event in London, Kennedy Uzoka, group managing director/CEO, United Bank for Africa, appreciated the organizer’s for the recognition, noting that UBA’s dedication to hard work and particular emphasis to offering quality services to customers are being acknowledged.

According to Uzoka, the award affirms the Bank’s strong management and un-matched commitment to service excellence.

 

He said: “This only goes to show that our resolve in continuing to deploy innovative solutions that place customers first, using cutting edge technology for their collective satisfaction and excellent banking experience is important to us. This recognition will further spur us to do more in meeting the needs of our customers with unrivalled services.”

 

Uzoka stated “for us at UBA, the award is quite an accomplishment, considering Mark Zuckerberg, CEO Facebook and President Emmanuel Macron of France’s recent endorsement both of which centred around highlighting the distinguishing value of UBA’s leading digital opportunities”.

 

“Also, our recent launch of Leo in 15 African countries is evidence that UBA has on its agenda, the objective of digital creativity especially in service for our trusted customer base across the African continent.  This award reminds us as an institution not to relent in our pursuit of excellence and to continue to lead the new digital age in Africa, within the financial services industry’.

 

Clive Horwood, Euromoney Magazine’s Editor explained that:  “Despite fierce competition, one bank stood out in the last year for the inventiveness of its efforts in digital banking: United Bank for Africa. One of its signature launches in Nigeria was Leo, an e-chat service using artificial intelligence to help customers execute transactions on Facebook”.

 

“Recently, Mark Zuckerberg gave a nod to the service, during a talk at a recent developers’ conference – a sign of its recognition at the highest levels of digital technology. The bank also recently added retina and fingerprint recognition and technology to reduce business travel greenhouse emissions. If it fulfils its ambitious plans to partner with fintech companies, UBA could continue to lead African banks in the area of digitilisation. “Horwood noted.

 

UBA is one of Africa’s leading banks with operations in 20 African countries and in London and New York, with   presence in Paris.

 

Adjudged to be at the forefront of innovation and convenient banking, UBA is one of the first financial services institutions on the continent to deploy Finacle 10x, a new information technology platform that boosts its services and electronic banking channels.

 

Today, UBA provides banking services to more than 15 million customers globally, through diverse channels and over a thousand touch points.

 

 

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