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Tez Financial Services, Green Girls Organization Selected in Visa Everywhere Initiative

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Earlier this month, Visa hosted the Visa Everywhere Initiative (VEI): Women’s Global Edition, marking the first time the program has focused on organizations with at least one woman founder or co-founder from around the world who are changing the world by solving business and social challenges.

The new global competition spotlighted the underrepresented millions of women business and social impact leaders, tasking them to solve a FinTech and – for the first time – a Social Impact challenge for a chance to win $100,000 per challenge along with mentorship, access to Visa products and programs, and exposure to key participants in the commerce ecosystem. Nearly 1,300 applicants applied to participate in the program.

Just before the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019™ kick-off, 12 finalists from six regions pitched their innovative solutions to a panel of judges.

Two finalists, Tez Financial Services from Pakistan, represented by its co-founder and business head, Naureen Hyat, and Green Girls Organization from Cameroon, represented by its founder, Monique Ntumngia, were selected as the winners of the FinTech and Social Impact challenges, respectively.

“As the worldwide rate of female entrepreneurship continues to rise, Visa is giving a voice to the collective strength of women who are creating impact in the global economy, spinning the fly wheel of innovation from the bottom up – and we will continue to do so through investments and partnerships that enable women-founded businesses to thrive,” said Marianne Mwaniki, Senior Vice President of Social Impact at Visa.

“All of the finalists in this global Visa Everywhere Initiative are testaments to how diverse, women-owned businesses can grow, uplifting economies in communities across the globe, and we intend to provide them a platform to create connections and opportunities to succeed.”

The Women’s Global Edition is an extension of the established VEI program, and reflects Visa’s commitment to investment in women entrepreneurs.

Since the inception of the VEI in 2015, more than 6,000 startups have participated in 24 innovation programs and have collectively raised more than $2.5 billion in funding.

This year, Visa expanded the competition to include a global challenge for organizations with at least one woman founder to submit solutions that tackle the vast societal and business challenges facing social impact landscapes.

The FinTech competition measured how applicants leveraged their companies’ unique ability to solve or transform consumer and/or commercial payment experiences locally, regionally or globally.

The FinTech winner Tez Financial Services from Pakistan, represented by Naureen Hyat, is the first fully digital financial institution in Pakistan providing frictionless financial services to the unbanked and under-banked via a smartphone application.

“The Visa Everywhere Initiative has been a remarkable opportunity for Tez, Pakistan and our cause to enhance financial inclusion,” said Naureen Hyat, Co-founder and Business Head of Tez Financial Services.

“It has not only served as a driver for growth but has also allowed us to tap into the connectivity and numerous partners at Visa. I’m honored to be a part of such a thriving group of women entrepreneurs. All of these finalists have already achieved so much – I’m excited to continue to be a witness to our growth collectively beyond this competition.”

The Social Impact Challenge sought women-led businesses around the world who are supporting sustainable and inclusive livelihoods and strengthening their local or regional economies.

The Social Impact winner Green Girls Organization from Cameroon, represented by Monique Ntumngia, is a non-governmental organization that trains women and girls to harvest and create renewable energy from the sun and bio-waste.

“This opportunity will allow Green Girls to reach more women and girls and expand our footprint to provide renewable energy,” said Monique Ntumngia, Founder of Green Girls Organization. “Visa’s network and support will not only help my organization scale but will provide a number of rural African communities sustainable energy sources from the sun and bio-waste – creating a ripple effect of impact.”

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Facebook Agrees to Pay $5Bn in Vast Privacy Settlement

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Federal Trade Commission is expected to announce on Wednesday that Facebook has agreed to a sweeping settlement of allegations it mishandled user privacy and pay roughly $5bn, two people briefed on the matter said.

 

As part of the settlement, Facebook will agree to create a board committee on privacy and will agree to new executive certifications on user privacy, the people said.

 

‘The Washington Post’ reported on Tuesday that the FTC will alleged Facebook misled users about its handling of their phone numbers and its use of two-factor authentication as part of a wide-ranging complaint that accompanies a settlement ending the government’s privacy probe, citing two people familiar with the matter.

 

Two people briefed on the matter confirmed the Post report that the FTC will not require Facebook to admit guilt as part of the settlement. The settlement will need to be approved by a federal judge.

 

The FTC confirmed in March 2018 it had opened an investigation into allegations Facebook inappropriately shared information belonging to 87 million users with the now-defunct British political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica. The inquiry has focused on whether the data-sharing violated a 2011 consent agreement between Facebook and the regulator and then widened to include other privacy allegations, reports The Guardian.

 

A person briefed on the matter said neither the phone number nor two-factor authentication issues were part of the initial Cambridge Analytica investigation.

 

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How, Why Mobile Wallets Can Deepen Financial Inclusion

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Access to financial services opens doors for families, allowing them to smooth out consumption and invest in their futures through education and health.

 

Access to credit enables businesses to expand, creating jobs and reducing inequality.

 

Unfortunately, in Nigeria, financial Inclusion is a serious challenge as Enhancing Financial Innovation & Access (EFInA), a financial sector development organization that promotes financial inclusion in Nigeria recently said that 60.1 million Nigerians are currently financially excluded.

 

That is why the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) recently authorized commercial banks to commence full operation of mobile money wallets.

 

The move is expected to deepen financial inclusion in Nigeria and maintain the CBN’s commitment to actualise 80% of the target by 2020.

 

Sam Okojere and Ahmad Abdullahi, directors of Payments System Management Department and Banking Supervision Department respectively of the CBN, said, that the aim of the initiative is basically to complement growth in agent banking services under the Super Agent and the Shared Agent Network Expansion Facility (SANEF) initiative.

 

They also, said that the initiative is also being implemented in recognition of the increasing demand for no-frills mobile money services.

 

Mobile payment (also referred to as mobile money, mobile money transfer, and mobile wallet) generally refer to payment services operated under financial regulation and performed from or via a mobile device, that is mobile phone.

 

Mobile payment works in just three simple steps; To send or receive money to a friend: (1) Register with a money transfer service by setting up an account and making a deposit.

 

(2) Use the provided short text commands to text cash to your friend’s phone number or account id; and to (3) Receive funds by requesting and accepting payments via text message.

 

Though there are inherent dangers of mobile banking, including the risk of getting fake SMS messages and scams, the benefits are far greater.

 

For instance, there is the ability to access funds anywhere, anytime saves time, improves security and provides a means for saving and managing money more effectively than traditional methods.

 

But it also creates an effect that drives broader economic growth.

 

 

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Experts Urge Implementation of National Cyber Security Policy & Strategy

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Worried by absence of coordinated approach in the fight against cybercrimes, information and communications technology experts hare seeking the revival of National Cyber security Policy and Strategy document.

 

Speaking at Telecom Executives and Regulators Forum, organised by Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Mohammed Rudman, president, Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA), said the National Cyber security Policy and Strategy is supposed to be the highest document for Nigeria when it comes to cyber security.” It was supposed to be constantly reviewed so that certain frameworks of cyber security will always be added and implemented as security should be constantly reviewed for effectiveness.

 

“It was implemented in February 2015 during federal executive council meeting when they wanted to change the timing of election of 2015, at that time President Jonathan approved that document. Since that time, I have not heard anything from the Office of National Security Adviser regarding that document. That document is the most critical document among all the cyber security documents coming out from NCC and NITDA; they are supposed to be all coordinated to have a national strategy to know where we are going.

 

“The Office of National Security Adviser needs to do more because Computer Emergence Response Team (CERT) is actually an output of that regulation. CERT that is supposed to handle and monitor activities of Nigerians, detect and respond to issues of cyber security derives its power from that document and nothing is been done much,” he noted.

 

Engr. Ike Nnamani, president, Demadiur Systems, publishers of Nigeria Cyber Security report, corroborating Rudman said that National Cyber security Policy and Strategy is a guideline for different organisations to secure their infrastructure against cyber attacks and how they can collaborate as well as report incidences of cybercrimes.

 

“As at today, I don’t know anything about this document after it was approved. What has happened with the absence of its implementation is that organisations and institutions’ cyber security efforts as well as policies are in silos without coordination and collaboration,” he added.

 

On sovereignty of data, Rudman said: “we need to be ambitious in terms of localising our data. The target of NITDA to achieve 30 per cent local cloud adoption in five years is small. I have been an advocate of localising data and traffic in Nigeria for the last 12 years.

 

“I have been pushing that as a country with huge population we can position Nigeria as a hub for internet content in Africa, right now South Africa for example has 70 per cent of their websites registered and hosted in South Africa, while 80 per cent of their internet traffic are localised within South Africa and IP resources they are consuming is 26 per cent.

 

“IP resources Nigeria is consuming is only 3 per cent while we are number seven in the world in the use of internet and people doing this are aware; the telecoms doing Network Address Translation, using private IP addresses.

 

“We need to find ways to be honest to ourselves, find ways within the industry to collaborate while pushing the cloud. If we don’t have a localised cloud services, how can you regulate what you don’t have on ground?

 

“The data centres we are using is somewhere in the world which you don’t know where it is, in fact some of the data centres are hidden, they are in black market. How do you regulate that?

 

“We have the infrastructure on ground with international certified data centres with tier IV, what we need is determination to ensure compliance to directive for our data to be hosted in the country.

 

The biggest government agencies in Nigeria are not hosting their data in the country. You can’t be talking about data sovereignty when almost all your data is outside of the country,” he said.

 

 

 

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