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MoMo PSB to Invest in Financial Education, Mobile Financing, to Drive Financial Inclusion

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Eli Hini, CEO of MoMo PSB, says that the mobile money operator will invest in financial education, mobile device financing and other financial solutions, to bridge the financial inclusion gap in Nigeria.

L-R: Co-Founder, Andela, Iyinoluwa Aboyeji; Group Head, Digital Banking, UBA, Kayode Olubiyi; Co-Founder, PiggyVest, Odunayo Eweniyi; Chief Executive Officer, MoMo PSB, Eli Hini; Chief Executive Officer, Uplift, Agada Apochi; and Managing Director, Fairmoney, Henry Obiekea at the inaugural MoMo PSB Stakeholder Conference in celebration of MoMo’s first anniversary in Lagos on Wednesday

He said this at the MoMo Stakeholder Forum, held to commemorate the first anniversary of the Payment Service Bank in Nigeria.

The event was held at the Lagos Continental Hotel on May 17, 2023.

Eli, after identifying financial illiteracy as one of the barriers to financial inclusion said, “Financial literacy is key in the drive for financial inclusion. This is why we are committed to investing in customer education to ensure people understand basic financial solutions and are able to use them to improve their lives.

This also includes sensitisation to help people understand the value of having access to financial solutions and the impact it has on the quality of their lives.”

According to Eli, MoMo PSB  “intends to invest in the provision of mobile phones to rural locations to help improve access to phones which will enable us to provide financial services to our rural communities.”

He also added that MoMo’s large spread in Nigeria will ensure that customers without the luxury of having financial institutions in close proximity can also be financially included.

“Limited access to traditional financial institutions is also what institutions like MoMo PSB will address because of our deep distribution and penetration into the rural areas. We believe that we can extend financial solutions to all Nigerians to bridge that gap.”

Themed “Addressing the Barriers to Financial Inclusion and Cashless Payment in Nigeria”, the MoMo PSB Stakeholder Forum pulled together industry heavyweights to discuss a way forward for financial inclusion and cashless payments in Nigeria.

The focus was on exploring the current landscape of financial inclusion in Nigeria, highlighting key advancements, addressing challenges and exploring strategies for the future. The forum also presented MoMo PSB with the opportunity to share some of the fintech’s efforts in driving financial inclusion.

At the forum, a panel of industry experts shared their experiences, expertise and visions, shedding light on the industry’s progress, and discussing innovative approaches to drive further inclusivity.

Speakers on the panel included the CEO of MoMo PSB, Eli Hini; Founding Partner, Future Africa, Iyinoluwa Aboyeji; Group Head, Digital Banking, UBA, Kayode Olubiyi; CEO of Unified Payments, Agada Apochi and MD of FairMoney, Henry Obiekea.

Also present at the stakeholder event was the Lagos State Honourable Minister for Science and Technology, Hakeem Fahm, who spoke on some of the ways the state is promoting cashless transactions, as well as the importance of collaboration between the public and private sector to drive financial inclusion.

He said,  “In Lagos state, we have adapted the way we do business to make sure that we embrace cashless payments in most of our transactions, from transportation to paying for government services.

“If you look around you today, we have adopted a multi-modal transport system from boats, to rails, to buses. We have adopted the cowry card which is a payment system you can use for any of our transportation channels.

“There is also an opportunity for the private sector to collaborate with the Lagos state government in extending this mode of cashless payments across our other transportation systems like mini buses.”

Speaking on the thinking behind the stakeholder conference, Eli recognised the importance of collaboration in achieving set goals, stating that the stakeholder conference is designed to serve as a platform for forward-thinking conversations on the state of the industry and for key stakeholders, comprising industry players, the regulator, government officials, to provide solutions to the challenges affecting financial inclusion and cashless payments in Nigeria..


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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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