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Heritage Bank launches Octiplus App, Reinforces Commitment as Technology Driven Institution

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Heritage Bank Plc has launched a robust innovative and advanced digital banking experience, dubbed “Octiplus”.

Octiplus as a bank-agnostic, all-in-one digital banking application, which grants users access to a bouquet of financial, lifestyle and social networking features with the added convenience of converging card based payments within one application irrespective of the issuing Nigerian Bank.

This state-of-the-art transactional and lifestyle application stands out in the industry, exposing customers to unique features which guarantee users access to relevant financial management tools which facilitate an improved spend and savings culture whilst affording users to a borderless transactional experience.

It is a mobile banking app developed and owned by the Bank and configured with a wide range of exciting features to meet the needs of the banking public.

Ikenna Imo, Divisional Head Innovation, stated that Octiplus promises an intelligent Omni-channel experience which augments the usual transactional features including bills payment, funds transfer and airtime recharge with its unique ability to facilitate person to person/group interactions which encourage small businesses and a thriving side hustle for young professionals.

He further confirmed that the App is now available for download on the Google and iOS App Stores.

Expressing his delight over the feat achieved, the MD/CEO of the bank, Ifie Sekibo stated, “Heritage Bank is a technology-driven institution with vast knowledge as a service organization in the business of banking and with the introduction of Octiplus, it is indicative that we are driven by the passion to ensure that your financial, business and lifestyle objectives are delivered in a convenient and interactive manner.

“With Octiplus, we are set to redefine the concept of digital banking for the discerning mobile user, as the app is equipped with several exciting features that reiterate the Bank’s commitment to expand its digital architecture and modernize its interactions with the banking public, irrespective of your preferred financial institution


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Ugo Onwuaso is an ICT enthusiast. He believes technology should be used for general good. He holds a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from the Lagos state University. Dear Reader, Your support matters. But we believe that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. That is why, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and finance and how they affect lives. Our incisive and analytical view of how technology news affects the daily life help individuals and organizations make up their minds. Quality journalism costs money. Today, we're asking that you support us to do more. Kindly support our effort to deliver technology and finance journalism to everyone in the world. Donate as little as N1,000. Bank transfers can be made to: UBA Plc 1017156876 Communication Week Media Ltd

E-Financial

Crypto Exchanges Begin Delisting Naira from P2P Platforms- SEC

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Crypto exchanges have commenced delisting of the Naira from Peer-to-Peer (P2P) trading platforms, following directives of the Office of the National Security Adviser and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Crypto Exchanges Begin Delisting Naira from P2P Platforms- SEC

P2P trading in the realm of cryptos is a decentralized method that allows individuals to buy and sell digital assets directly with one another.

In this system, P2P trading platforms serve as intermediaries, facilitating secure and trust-based transactions.

SEC explained that its checks have indicated that the Naira has been removed as a fiat currency option for transactions on KuCoin platform and the exchange has already begun the necessary adjustments to its technology to accommodate the delisting of the Naira as soon as practicable.

It explained that the removal of the Naira from the platforms limits the ability to manipulate the exchange rates against the Nigerian currency which is expected to further strengthen the value of the naira.

Dr. Emomotimi Agama, acting director general of SEC, reacting to the delisting by KuCoin, expressed delight that the crypto exchanges were heeding the directives of ONSA and SEC, describing it as a welcome development.

He stated: “We are happy that they have started complying with the directives by the ONSA.  We ask that those involved in sharp practices that undermine national interest should cease and desist. It is in our interest as a people to protect what belongs to us.  Anyone that disobeys directives should be ready to face the full weight of the law”.

Agama added that as the apex regulator of the capital market, “SEC is co-operating  with the Office of the National Security Adviser, the  Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and other relevant agencies to achieve the national objective of making sure that illegality is not allowed to thrive”.

 

 

 


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E-Financial

Court Backs Banks to Collect Customers’ Social Media Handles

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A federal high court in Lagos has struck out a case against the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) over its directive requiring banks to collect and verify social media handles as part of their know-your-customer (KYC) requirement.

Court Backs Banks to Collect Customers’ Social Media Handles

In June 2023, the apex bank issued the directive, saying the aim is to prevent financial crime, and terrorism, as well as boost the precision and thoroughness of customer identification.

Chris Eke, the applicant and a customer, represented by Olubunmi Abayomi-Olukunle, a lawyer, had filed suit number FHC/L/CS/1281/2023 in July 2023, arguing the CBN’s directive infringed upon constitutional rights, particularly section 37 of the 1999 constitution.

Nnamdi Dimgba, presiding judge, struck out the suit filed by Eke, which sought a declaration that the regulation as contained in section 6(a)(iv) of the CBN (customer due diligence) Regulations, 2023, is “undemocratic, unconstitutional, null and void”.

The CBN, in its response to the suit, filed a notice of preliminary objection, challenging the competence of the suit and disagreeing with the claim of interference with the applicant’s private life.

In his judgment, Dimgba held that the notice of preliminary objection had merit, subsequently striking out the suit.

The judge ruled that providing a social media handle is equivalent to providing email and phone numbers for potential customers, and therefore, it does not violate the right to privacy.

“First, the applicant claims that the requirements on the CBN regulations for financial institutions to request and collect the social media handle of its customers as part of KYC infringes on his right to privacy,” the judge said.

“This claim is very ambitious and amounts to a very far throw. The said regulations are directed to and apply to financial institutions.  It does not apply to private individuals such as the applicant.

“Even if, as appears to be argued, that the regulations itself would inevitably affect the applicant, this claim is speculative for the simple reason that in nowhere in the affidavit in support was it stated that the applicant operates an account with a financial institution and that the said institution had demanded his social media handle.”

Consequently, the judge said the suggestion that he would be negatively affected by the regulation is very “speculative and at large”.

He said there is a lack of evidence suggesting financial institutions have implemented the regulation, and it is causing disruptions and inconvenience.

Furthermore, Dimgba said if the applicant is “irritated by the requirement of the regulation”, he has a choice to “refuse to do business with any bank insisting on the information as part of its social media handle, but to seek other alternatives”.

PROVISION OF SOCIAL MEDIA HANDLES TO BANKS DO NOT TRANSLATE TO BREACH’

Dimgba said banks asking customers or potential clients to provide their social media handles is not a breach of privacy.

He said the essence of having a social media account was for one to be publicly visible communication-wise.

According to the judge, a social media handle, being in the public space, can be accessed by everyone whether or not consent was obtained.

As a result, he said it would be unreasonable to hold the respondent in breach of privacy.

“The apprehension of the Applicant of his social interactions being monitored is manifestly speculative in itself and rather incredulous to believe that the financial institutions have the luxury of time to concern itself with such frivolities,” the judge said.

 

 


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CBN Grants Approval to 14 New IMTOs  to Spur Liquidity

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Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said that it has granted 14 new International Money Transfer Operators, IMTOs Approval-in-Principle (AIP) to double foreign-currency remittance inflows through formal channels amid foreign currency crisis.

CBN Grants Approval to 14 New IMTOs  to Spur Liquidity

Hakama Sidi Ali, acting director of Corporate Communications, CBN, disclosed this in a statement that the he initiative will help increase the sustained supply of foreign exchange in the official market by promoting greater competition and innovation amongst IMTOs, lowering the cost of remittance transactions and boosting financial inclusion.

CBN’s thinking is that increasing formal remittance flows, which are one of the major sources of foreign exchange and account for over 6 per cent of gross domestic product, would help ease the historical volatility in Nigeria’s exchange rate caused by external factors, such as fluctuations in foreign investment and oil export proceeds.

This will spur liquidity in Nigeria’s Autonomous Foreign Exchange Market (NAFEX), augmenting price discovery to enable a market-driven fair value for the naira,” Olayemi Cardoso, the CBN Governor, recently disclosed the apex bank’s target to double remittance flows into Nigeria within a year, which he firmly believed was possible.

On Wednesday, the Naira recorded its first N61 gain against the dollar at the foreign exchange market for the first time after weeks of decline.

 

 


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