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Mobile Money Transactions Hit N8m Daily

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Some N8 million are exchanged daily by mobile money schemes in the country, underscoring the growing acceptance of the scheme after a lethargic take off, according to findings by Nigeria CommunicationsWeek.

Transactions among mobile money schemes commenced in March this year after the expiration of the February 28 deadline of by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to operators to connect to National Central Switch (NCS) that is offering the handshake.

The handshake otherwise interoperability is basically the ability of the user of one mobile money service to send money directly to the wallet of a user on any other service.

Without interoperability the difficult decision of which mobile money service to choose might be influenced by which members of the customer’s peer group are already using a given service.

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek investigations revealed that the daily transactions value of N8 million is carried out in over 200 transactions every day.

These are specifically transactions from one mobile scheme wallet to another as well as from mobile scheme wallet to bank accounts.

But transactions within a mobile scheme are not recorded in this value and volume as their transactions are not routed through NCS.

Emmanuel Okoegwale, principal associate, MobileMoneyAfrica, said there are different levels to achieve interoperability. It could be platform, agency or even via other channels like merchants.

“Essentially interoperability enables the acceptance of e-money seamlessly across providers, agency network and event merchants. Interoperability for agent revolves around agents’ ability to meet the needs of subscribers across multiple providers for cash out and cash in service, same way ATMs don’t discriminate between cards of firms that had entered into interoperability agreements at National or even at international level. It significantly reduces the cost for ecosystem players across agency network,” he said.

Okoegwale added that when interoperability is achieved in the system a subscriber of scheme provider A, can send mobile money from his wallet to subscriber that is enrolled in scheme provider B and the funds in the wallet can be spent directly at a merchant location or cash out at own agent locations.

It would be recalled that Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had issued licences to 16 companies to operator mobile money transactions.

The CBN had said that the MMOs were licensed to accelerate the transformation of the nation’s payment system which would emphasis use of mobile phones.

Mr. Chalapathi Rao Immidi, director and head, Global Business Development, Mfino, said interoperability was needed for providers to share their infrastructure networks, thereby enabling multiple allowances, without which the economy would not grow.

“Imagine all of us not being able to talk to people not on our mobile network, because they are on other networks,” he said.

Rao Immidi said providers would have to operate in unison to make the adoption of mobile money easier.

“This will enable many factors and many people and organizations and banks will be encouraged to participate and there will be more range of products to offer customers,” he said.

According to him, mobile money has a lot to offer apart from the basic sending and receiving of money, as it can be used for government disbursement, salary payment, settling of daily paid workers and more.


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E-Financial

FG Makes u-Turn on Bank Account Re-Registration

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Federal government on Friday apologised for asking all account holders in financial institutions in the country to re-register their personal details.

FG makes u-Turn on Bank Account Re-Registration

Recall that the federal government had on Thursday ‎ordered that all persons holding accounts across financial institutions and insurance firms should complete and submit self-certification forms to their respective financial institutions.

The notice issued by the government to that effect read, ‎“This is to notify the general public that all account holders in Financial Institutions (Banks, Insurance Companies, etc.) are required to obtain, complete, and submit Self – Certification Forms to their respective Financial Institutions.

“Persons holding accounts in different financial institutions are required to complete and submit the form to each one of the institutions. The forms are required by the relevant financial institutions to carry out due diligence procedures, in line with the Income Tax Regulations 2019.‎”

The directive raised eyebrows, as account holders already possessed Bank Verification Numbers.

Following widespread condemnation that trailed the directive, the Federal Government backtracked on Friday, saying the fresh guidelin‎e was not for all Nigerians.

The government attributed the development to misinformation.

The clarification issued by the government on Friday read, ‎“We apologise for the misleading tweets (now deleted) that went up yesterday, regarding the completion of self-certification forms by Reportable Persons. The message contained in the notice does not apply to everybody. ‎FIRS will clarify Nigerians on the objectives of the directive.”

Also on Friday, FIRS, in a statement posted on Twitter, explained that the guidelines were only for non-residents, as well as people paying tax in more than one country.

Parts of the FIRS statement read, “The Self Certification Form is basically to be administered on Reportable Persons, holding accounts in Financial institutions, that are regarded as “Reportable Financial Institutions” under the CRS.

“Reportable persons are often non-residents and other persons, who have residence for tax purposes in more than one jurisdiction or country.”

“The information that indicates an account holder is a resident for tax purposes in more than one jurisdiction, is expected to be available to Financial Institutions during account opening processes, for the KYC and AML purpose.”


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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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