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Banks to Stop or Limit Debit Card Spending abroad as Forex Crisis Worsens

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Beginning today, banks in the country are expected to either suspend or reduce the amount their customers can spend abroad using debit cards.

Banks to Stop or Limit Debit Card Spending abroad as Forex Crisis Worsens

It is yet more worrying sign of the country’s worsening dollar shortages made more severe by the sharp fall in the price of oil, Nigeria’s main export.

Already, two banks have said they are trying to limit foreign currency settlement risk.

Stanbic IBTC Bank (IBTC.LG), the local unit of South Africa’s Standard Bank (SBKJ.J), said it will halve the spending limit for offshore card transactions to $500 per month from Monday and will limit cash withdrawals to $100.

Another top tier lender Zenith Bank (ZENITHB.LG) said it will temporarily suspend the use of debit cards abroad for cash withdrawals and cut the monthly spending limit abroad by more than half to $200.

“This review is in response to today’s economic realities,” Zenith said in a notice, advising clients to request prepaid dollar cards.

Other lenders — Ecobank (ETI.LG) and Fidelity Bank (FIDELIT.LG) — have also lowered withdrawal limits for individuals while abroad.

Such moves have previously been at the behest of the central bank, but it was not clear if the regulator was behind the latest action. The central bank did not respond to a request for comment.

The bank is battling to conserve dollar reserves that are down 19% from a year ago. Last week it depreciated the currency on the official market NGN= prompting the naira to weaken on the black and over-the-counter spot markets.

Bankers told Reuters that it now takes more than six months to settle foreign lines of credit.

Nigeria is yet to resume forex sales to retail currency traders after it banned international travel as part of a lockdown measure to slow the spread of the coronavirus that has killed 778 people and infected more than 36,000.


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E-Financial

Liquidation of Fortis MFB Adhered to Guidelines- NDIC

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Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) said it adhered to statutory guidelines on the resolution and liquidation of Fortis Microfinance Bank (MFB) and the protection of interest of depositors.

Liquidation of Fortis MFB Adhered to Guidelines- NDIC

The corporation said this in a statement on Wednesday by Dr Sunday Oluyemi, director, Communication and Publication Affairs.

According to the NDIC, the initial efforts by regulatory authorities involved the setting up of joint CBN/NDIC Interim Management Committee (IMC) to manage the affairs of the bank toward stemming the tide of its mismanagement.

It said its initial efforts also included the protection of the interest of its depositors.

“The intervention by the IMC also included the payment of N2 billion released to it by the Committee of Governors of CBN to the bank’s depositors in order to ease the hardship being experienced by them,” the corporation said.

NDIC said the facts and figures behind the liquidation of the bank showed that its fortune began to decline due to mismanagement and abysmal corporate governance practices, making the CBN, in collaboration with the NDIC, to take several actions to address the bank’s deteriorating financial condition.

“The intervention of regulatory agencies in the resolution of the defunct Fortis MFB were in two phases.

“The first phase involved corrective and supervisory measures which eventually included the sacking of the Executive Management, dissolving the Board of Directors and the appointment of a joint CBN/NDIC Interim Management Committee (IMC) to temporarily manage the affairs of the MFB.


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I-invest Opens Equities Market to More Nigerians

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New and experienced retail investors can now own a piece of the companies listed on The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) using the i-invest app on their smartphones from the comfort of their offices or homes.

The secure investment app, which revolutionized fixed-income trading, now empowers investors in the equities market to execute trades during trading hours; it gives them full control of their portfolios.

Oluseye Olusoga, managing director, Parthian Partners, who disclosed this in Lagos, said the convenient access to real-time equities trading on the NSE offered by i-invest is in line with Parthian Partners and Sterling Bank’s innovative approach to offering stress-free services to millions of Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora.

i-invest was launched in 2018 by Parthian Partners in partnership with Sterling Bank.

It is a secure digital platform for investments which is regulated by the Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Olusoga urged investors to take advantage of the i-irenvest platform to trade in the shares of any of the 161 companies listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

He added that the platform allows for trading with direct reflection of the business as done on the NSE during the daily trading period between 10 am and 2.30 pm every weekday while investment in either Eurobond or treasury bills could be done at any time of the day.

According to Olusoga, anyone can start investing within minutes of downloading the i-invest app. After downloading the app, a prospective investor registers and can make payment into the app’s wallet which could then be used for investment immediately.

He explained that the app provides a secure, fast, and convenient way for the average man to access investment products otherwise reserved for the elite.

The easy-to-use application was designed with customers in mind and gives interest on every investment option. Customers can view their portfolio of investments anywhere at any time.

 


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CFI, Liquid Telecom Partner to Accelerate Digital & Financial Inclusion in Africa

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Cassava Fintech International (CFI) and the Liquid Telecom Group (LTG) have announced the launch of Sasai Wi-Fi Finder, a potential game-changer in driving digital and financial inclusion in Africa. The service, which will be offered across the continent, was announced today, and is set to be rolled at thousands of hotspots across Africa.

A 2019 report by the GSMA (the Global System for Mobile Communications) shows that affordability remains a significant barrier to Internet adoption in Africa, resulting in social, digital and financial exclusion. This partnership seeks to offer a low-cost solution for connectivity and to expand these services throughout the continent.

“We see this launch as a critical piece in the social digital inclusion agenda we are driving on the continent,” said Darlington Mandivenga, the Chief Executive Officer of the CFI Group. “Through Sasai Wi-Fi Finder, we plan to establish an expansive network of data access points across Africa and build ‘Africa’s Missing Network’ through partnering with broadband providers, Internet Service Providers and local community hubs,” Mandivenga said.

“We’re proud that our best-in-class broadband infrastructure network is the backbone of this service and is enabling more Africans to access the digital and financial benefits of the internet,” said Ahmad Mokhles, Group Chief Operating Officer of LTG.

“This partnership is providing consumers with affordable Wi-Fi access while local franchisees and partners are able to grow their businesses and the economies of their countries. This is a true example of the transformative power technology can have across the value chain,” said Mokhles.

The intuitive and easy to use Sasai Wi-Fi Finder will be an in-App feature on the Sasai super App that will allow users to identify hotspots at which they can access affordable data.

“We designed this service to be as easy-to-use as possible. A smartphone user will get free connectivity on-the-go through accessing the #SasaiWi-Fi Finder network to download the Sasai App and gain access to a wide range of in-app services,” said Tapera Mushoriwa, Chief Operating Officer of Sasai.

“When a new smartphone user has registered on the Sasai App, or when an existing Sasai App user opens the App, they receive automatic notification “pop-up” alerts showing available #SasaiWi-Fi Finder hotspots nearby. They also receive additional services, such as distinct indoor and outdoor Wi-Fi hotspot markers, directions to Wi-Fi hotspots, session usage, range and signal strength details – making it easier than ever before for African users to access the Internet,” Mushoriwa said.

The Sasai Wi-Fi Finder will allow greater connectivity in a variety of locations, including retail, health care, education, government and small business trade facilities. The App will also give millions of Africans access to social, entertainment and on-demand services offered on the Sasai super App, including Sasai Moments.

The partnership between CFI and LTG will see the roll-out of the Sasai Wi-Fi Finder in Zimbabwe, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo and South Africa in phases over the coming months.

The Sasai Wi-Fi Finder is accessible and available by downloading the Sasai super App from the Google Play store or the Apple Appstore.


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