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MATS Signs 10 MM Agreements for Agency Rollout in Nigeria

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Merchant and Agent Transactions Services (MATS) has signed ten landmark agreements and actively integrating them for agency transactions in Nigeria.

The firm is deploying own proprietary software, point of transaction kiosks and staffed agency network to serve licensed providers in Nigeria.

In a bid to bridge the gap with the unbanked population in Nigeria, give banked customers more transactional options for entire population to access agency network leveraging on  mobile financial services of the licensed providers in Nigeria, MATS  LTD ( Merchant and Agent transactions services Ltd )  is actively aggregating licensed providers of mobile money in Nigeria to enable subscribers  transact from any of the operator platforms, via any channel  at MATS agent outlets which is in active roll out nationwide.

The firm had successfully signed up and integrated 10 licensed Mobile Money providers in Nigeria, the largest of such initiative in entire West and Central Africa.

 It will enable licensed operators lower their operational cost, accelerate roll out and the reach of mobile financial services as well as agency banking.

MATS has built a next generation aggregated platform that can handle and process subscriber requests from all the licensed partnering financial institutions and mobile money operators to access their agency network for transactional purposes.

The agency network which is in active roll out will be combined with own network locations and partner locations in collaboration with leading distribution networks; will be manned by trained MATS certified and branded agents nationwide.

The firm has signed agency agreements with FETS, VCash, Teasy mobile, clicknpay, Readycash, Paga, eTranzact, Fortis MobileMoney, Fidelity Bank , Heritage Bank for agent aggregation and agency banking.

The firm is expected to complete agreement signing processes with all other leading providers in coming weeks.

Emmanuel Okoegwale, director at  MATS ‘’We have been working on the project in the last two years and had witnessed the pain points of the licensed providers in terms of agent network churn, acquisition cost and monitoring . We have taken all these into consideration to offer this next gen platform which comes along with the staffed agency network to serve licensed providers in Nigeria to further deepen the financial inclusion aspirations of the Central Bank of Nigeria..  We know that Mobile Money is low value and high volume based business and that is why We are partnering with licensed providers to use  our staffed outlets to ensure service quality, reach, transaction volumes and  deepen adoption in furtherance to the financial inclusion aspirations of the Central Bank of Nigeria’’.

MATS is powered by technology from Alterna, a subsidiary of Swifta Systems. Alterna has built and deployed next generation agent service aggregation platform to support MATS initiatives.

The technology behind MATS is a convergent system that aggregates mobile financial services from multiple payments schemes across heterogeneous systems – providing convenient and secured channels for mobile financial services covering agency, merchant and other associated transactions

Leveraging on the strong footprints of Swifta in some of the leading and pioneer mobile financial services frontier markets in Africa, Alterna has successful deployed, robust and highly scalable enterprise financial service aggregation platform in partnership with leading mobile network operators and financial institutions across Africa.

According to Victor Asemota, CEO of Swifta systems – “We have seen all around Africa the gap in getting Mobile Financial Services initiatives to reach scale. We decided to solve this problem by helping put in place a collaborative marketplace platform that not only provides the consumer all alternatives and choice but also strengthens the brand of each operator by helping them reach scale faster on shared infrastructure. 

Commenting on the innovative model, Musa Ali Baba, CEO at teasy Mobile, one of the licensed partners of the MATS scheme, said:  “We at Teasy are delighted to partner with MATS. We have worked closely together from inception of the project and are pleased that it has come towards fruition; wherein our customers and the general public shall benefit from the agent access, convenience, interoperability and consistency of service that we all need to make Mobile Money work for Nigeria.”

The agency network is designed to enable any customer of partnering mobilemoney providers or banks to conduct all agent related transactions at MATS locations nationwide without incurring any additional cost aside the normal fees charged by their primary provider. The organization is in active discussions and concluding with leading international remittance firms, utilities providers and value chain enterprises to use the agency network to make low cost banking and payment more efficient nationwide. The innovative model will enable providers accelerate; deepen adoption, reach and usage of mobile financial services across Nigeria while MATS will focus on the agency network roll out.


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E-Financial

Stanbic IBTC Bank Disowns Lagos ATM Fraudster

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Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC has disowned Tope Olajide, 22-year-old fraudster arraigned for theft of customers deposits.

Stanbic IBTC Bank Disowns Lagos ATM Fraudster

The Bank said this in a statement on Wednesday.

The statement said: “The attention of the management of Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC has been drawn to news currently circulating in the media, about the alleged arraignment of staff of the Bank on charges bordering on the theft of customers deposits.

“The Bank would like to clarify that the defendant, a 22-year-old Tope Olajide, IS NOT, and was at no point in time an employee of Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC.

“The alleged culprit was apprehended around 7:30 am, on Thursday, 27 August 2020, by security operatives after he was exposed by CCTV footage using ATM cards he had allegedly stolen and converted, to make withdrawals from the accounts tied to the stolen ATMs.

“The CCTV footage also showed the alleged culprit pretending to assist customers at ATMs whilst also attempting to fraudulently dispossess the customers of their ATMs.

“He was subsequently arraigned before an Ikeja Magistrate Court on Monday, 14 September, for stealing the debit cards of two customers and using them to unlawfully withdraw the sum of N427,000.

“The Bank would also like to implore members of the public to be security conscious when conducting transactions at ATMs. Customers are advised to report any suspicious actions around them to security operatives who are usually stationed around the Bank’s ATMs, when carrying out transactions at any of our ATM locations.

“As an organisation, we hold dear the values of integrity, and we will continue to prioritise the safety of our customers effectively.”


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Buhari Okays Establishment of CBN-Led Infraco

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President Muhammadu  Buhari has approved the establishment of an   Infrastructure Company (Infraco) to be driven by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in partnership with the African Finance Corporation (AFC) and the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA).

Buhari Okays Establishment of CBN-Led Infraco

Mr. Godwin Emefiele, CBN governor

This is coming  on the heels of the foreign reserves’ slump to $36 billion following a cocktail of monetary policy interventions by the apex bank to cushion the scathing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy.

Mr Godwin Emefiele, CBN governor, made these disclosures in Abuja at the annual conference of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) with the theme: Facilitating a Sustainable Future: The role of Banking and Finance.

According to him, Infraco would enable the use of private and public capital to support infrastructure investment that will have a multiplier effect on growth across critical sectors.

“This entity would also be able to raise funds from the capital markets and mobilise long term finance to address some of our infrastructure needs, while providing reasonable returns to investors. “We believe this well-structured fund can act as a catalyst for growth in the medium and the long run. The support of the banking community will be important in achieving this objective.

“A well-built infrastructure system, comprising hard infrastructure such as roads and ports, and soft infrastructure such as broadband penetration, can have a multiplier effect on growth by enabling the expansion of business activities in the country”, he explained.

On foreign reserves, Emefiele attributed its crash to the decline in foreign exchange earnings and subsequent adjustments in the value of the naira to the dollar.


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Amana Bank signs Comprehensive Software Deal with Path Solutions

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Amana Bank, a leading Islamic bank in Somalia has announced that it has selected iMAL, the AAOIFI-certified core banking platform from Path Solutions to replace its legacy IT system and deploy a single, cloud-based digital banking platform to underpin its banking operations.

This is Path Solutions’ third win in Somalia after Premier Bank and MyBank Ltd. The company went through a lengthy competitive bidding to which all international suppliers were invited, before being selected as Amana Bank’s preferred technology partner.

According to a statement following the signing, Path Solutions will supply and install its flagship Islamic core banking platform iMAL in addition to its comprehensive digital suite at Amana Bank Somalia. The new digital software will provide instant 24/7 service availability with fast, inexpensive, easy and convenient online banking, frictionless payments and transfers, personalization, engagement and retention.

Abdirizak Hussein Malin, Chairman of Amana Bank Somalia commented, “As part of our strategy, Amana Bank has instituted a digital transformation plan that will help us meet the emerging needs of our customers and the increasing demands of innovation.

“Consequently, we required a partner with open and agile technology that will drive powerful change. We have chosen Path Solutions for its ability to deliver vital digital financial solutions at this critical time with its depth of experience supporting Islamic banks in Africa.

“The company has differentiated itself from other vendors in its unique ability to combine core Islamic values with modern digital banking solutions, and to fully comply with Sharia and banking regulations.

“We are confident that the new technology, proven to significantly improve levels of customer fulfilment, will transform our operations by driving incredible efficiency gains while also reducing risk, lowering overall IT costs via higher automation and lower maintenance spending”.

The new iMAL platform leverages artificial intelligence and machine learning to help financial institutions get predictive insights for better data-driven decision making. It will also help strengthen customer loyalty through enhanced security transactions.

“We are delighted to partner with a leading Islamic bank in Somalia on a project that will set a new standard in digital banking for the country. Today, every financial institution has an incredible opportunity to apply advances in cloud computing to redefine every aspect of its business”, said Mohammed Kateeb, Path Solutions’ Group Chairman & CEO.

“Somalia’s Amana Bank is a good example of this transformation to drive innovation forward and ensure much more secure banking experience, enabling customers to enjoy the nuances of non-stop banking with cloud-based services.

The bank will also benefit from the full Islamic coverage which bridges the gap between modern customer requirements and intrinsic Islamic values. Our multi-award winning Islamic core banking platform will support the delivery of innovative digital products that are both Sharia-compliant and specialized for Amana Bank’s retail and corporate customers”.

The new agreement was signed by Amana Bank’s Chairman Abdirizak Hussein Malin and Path Solutions’ Group Chairman & CEO Mohammed Kateeb on Sunday 6 September at Path Solutions’ Dubai office. The implementation will be delivered 100% in the cloud and 100% remotely amidst the COVID-19 lockdown.


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