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Airtel Africa Partners MoneyGram for Quick Money Access Across Africa

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Airtel Africa’s partnership with MoneyGram, announced on August 21st, is supposed to provide millions of users across the continent with a quick way to receive money.

Airtel Africa Partners MoneyGram for Quick Money Access Across Africa

Airtel Africa is well known as a provider of telecommunications and mobile money, available in 14 African countries (primarily in East, Central, and West Africa).

In March last year, the company had over 99 million subscribers, 19 million of which use a mobile payment app called Airtel Money The great appeal of Airtel Money, in addition to its national and international money services, is their offer of very cheap data plans in Nigeria.

Speaking about the new partnership, Raghunath Mandava, CEO of Airtel Africa, said: “We are delighted to work with MoneyGram to provide millions of customers with fast, secure, and convenient options to receive and send money as well as access their funds from a vast distribution of exclusive kiosks, agents and branches at their convenience.”

He also added: “This is a significant step forward in our ambition to transform lives through greater financial inclusion and empowerment across the continent. Maximizing access to global remittances is a key part of this – even more so given the disruption and economic hardship faced by many because of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

This partnership is just one step in the company’s journey. Airtel Africa also closed a deal with Standard Chartered Bank in order to allow its clients to make online deposits and withdrawals from the bank in real-time as well as internationally receive money to their wallet and access their savings, in addition to other features.

Last year, they also partnered up with a payment and foreign exchange services firm Ecobank and Finablr – a pan-African banking giant.

On the other hand, MoneyGram International is a global remittance company based in the USA.

They specialize in cross-border peer-to-peer payments and money transfers and are the second-biggest provider of these services in the world.

When it comes to the Airtel deal, John Gely, head of MoneyGram Africa said: “This partnership with Airtel will enable millions of consumers instant access to our global platform to receive money from over 200 countries and territories without having to even step outside.”

Gely added: “We’re excited about how this customer-centric partnership with Airtel will expand our mobile wallet capabilities, build upon our strong momentum in Africa, and further accelerate our digital growth across the globe.”

MoneyGram already has similar arrangements with Safaricom, which allows Tanzanian and Kenyan users to access the platform, as well as with Zimbabwe’s Ecocash and various providers in Ghana, such as Vodafone Cash, Airtel Tigo Money, and MTN MoMo.

There was also talk of Western Union approaching MoneyGram and proposing a takeover deal but, so far, it looks like nothing came of it.

Furthermore, the company is relying on blockchain and its decentralized technology to make its transfers faster and more efficient. Ripple, a blockchain payments company, made a significant investment in MoneyGram and now holds around 10% of its common stocks.

The Airtel Africa/MoneyGram deal means that Airtel Money’s customers will be able to receive transfers from their friends and family through MoneyGram and put it directly into their mobile wallets.

The money will be available instantly and can be used for a variety of purposes, from paying the utility bills to transferring it to other individuals.

Seeing as how the coronavirus pandemic encouraged people to replace cash with various digital payment apps, it’s no wonder that there is more and more use of this method in e-commerce, mobile banking, and mobile gambling industries.

Being somewhat of a data security freak, the stamp of approval from the online gambling industry means a lot.


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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

FG Sacked IST Members over Fraud- Ahmed

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Mrs Zainab Ahmed, minister of Finance Budget and National Planning, has said the Federal Government sacked some past members of the Investments and Securities Tribunal (IST) as they indulged in corruption.

FG Sacked IST Members over Fraud- Ahmed

Inaugurating the new members, the minister charged the new members to eschew corruption and be forthright.

Bar. Azi Amos Isaac was appointed as Chairman for a five year term and Bar. Nosa Smart Osemwengie, was re-appointed as member for a second term of four years.

“The problem with the tribunal has been infighting amongst members, lack of industrial harmony and series of complaints bordering on maladministration.

“This has been the bane of the tribunal and a source of embarrassment not only for the Ministry of Finance but for the government in general,” Ahmed said.

The new chairman, Azi, assured the finance minister that, “the teething issue of restiveness has been addressed since he assumed duty,” adding that, “The place is calm and the staff have become very supportive.”

Azi said since 2003, the tribunal has “given judgment in the value of assets worth over N844 billion and that from 2017 to date, they have given decisions in monetary value totalling over N28bn.

“It has not failed in its adjudicatory responsibility.

“It has carried out its assignment with candour and integrity and intends to improve on what has been on ground.”

 


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CBN Bans Customer-to-Customer Forex Transfer

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Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has banned transfer of foreign exchange (forex) from one customer to another.

CBN Bans Customer-to-Customer Forex Transfer

According to the apex bank, forex cash lodgements into domiciliary accounts can only be done by the account owners henceforth.

An internal memo available in the media space explains that the new guidelines are necessary to review the utilisation of inflows into customers domiciliary accounts.

The circular states: “Forex inflows cannot be credited to customers until the legitimacy of funds is established.

“They can have unfettered access by telegraphic transfers up to a limit of $40,000 monthly for payment of medical bills, school fees, subscription to professional bodies subject to existing CBN guidelines.

“Transfers from one customer to another is prohibited. Transfer within related companies is allowed subject to a limit of $50,000 per month.”

It recommended that proceeds from non-oil exports should be sold to banks, used for repayment of dollar term loans, and self-utilisation for trade transactions for LC, bills and Form A.

Also oil export proceeds from E&P companies are to be used to pay contractors and service providers employed by the oil companies in addition to the recommended uses for non-oil FX proceeds.

Offshore forex inflows from other Nigerian banks and internal account to forex transfers sourced from offshore inflows are to be used for trade transactions subject to eligibility for E-Form M.

“Upon confirmation of the legitimacy of the inflows, customers can have unfettered access, subject to a maximum of $50,000,” the document read.

“Utilisation for trade transactions subject to processing of eligible trade transactions using E-Form M. Payment for services must be backed with demand note from offshore beneficiary and other regulatory documents.

“Related party transfers are allowed to the maximum of the inflow received. The transfer request should be backed by a signed instruction from the account holder.” Payment of government fees and levies are also allowed to the maritime, oil and gas, aviation. government parastatals and export processing zones.

 


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Stanbic IBTC, Standard Bank, Listed Among Top African Corporate Brands

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Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC and its parent company, Standard Bank, have emerged amongst the top winners of the 2020 Tech Times’ Africa LinkedIn Corporate Brand Awards.

The Stanbic IBTC Group emerged the second position in the category, with total votes of 3,515, out of 24 firms nominated for the award. Standard Bank placed the fourth 2,494 votes.

Nominations for this award opened to the public on July 1, 2020 and closed on July 14.

Shortlisted nominees were announced on August 24 while voting commenced immediately and voting ended on September 8, 2020.

The Corporate Brand Awards was instituted by Tech Times’ Africa, an online platform for leading technology, innovation, and startup stories.

Expressing his delight on the awards, Dr Demola Sogunle, Chief Executive, Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, said that both Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC and Standard Bank had been deliberate and consistent in making a remarkable impact in Africa’s financial sector.

“Our sincere appreciation goes to the organisers of the Africa Corporate Brands Awards and to every member of the public who voted. This is a reflection of the high level of trust and confidence that the public has reposed on us,” he added.

Dr Sogunle further said that Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC would remain relentless in portraying the organisation as one of the most influential corporate brands in Africa.

He stated: “Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC and Standard Bank have relentlessly contributed to driving the growth and development of the African financial ecosystem. These awards affirm our efforts, and we are encouraged to raise the bar continually.”

The Africa Corporate Brand Award is designed to identify and recognise outstanding companies. It also projects their achievements and impacts on African society and the world at large.


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