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Payments Forum Nigeria [PAFON1.0] Holds Tomorrow

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All is now set for the maiden edition of Payments Forum Nigeria (PAFON 1.0) to be held tomorrow, Thursday, March 21, 2024 at Oriental Hotel, Lekki, Lagos State, at 9am.

The Payments Forum Nigeria is a cross-industry platform focused on addressing issues that require broad cooperation and coordination across many constituents in the payments industry.

PAFON 1.0 will provide participants with inside-look at the industry, offering perspectives from key stakeholders, including payment networks, technology innovators, leading merchants, issuers, acquirers and payment processors.

Participation is free; however, preregistration can be done via the link: https://bit.ly/4c4N19H.

Speakers

Mr. Chibuzo Efobi, Director, Payments System Management, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will deliver the keynote address, while Keynote Presentation shall be delivered by Festus Amede, Chairman, Committee of Chief Information Security Officers of Nigerian Financial institutions (CCISONFI).

Other speakers lined up for PAFON 1.0 include: Ikenna Ndugbu, Chief Compliance Officer, Moniepoint MFB; Dr. Adewale Peter Obadare, Chief Visionary Officer (CVO), Digital Encode Limited; Peter Evbota, Sales Director at inq. Digital Nigeria Limited; Gbolabo Awelewa, Chief Solutions Officer, Cybervergent; Fasasi Atanda, National President of AMMBAN, amongst others.

Throughout the years, the finance world has shifted into something much more than just banking and big corporations.

Blockchain and the FinTech society have managed to create a new world that is much more inclusive, and full of opportunities.

Based on a report by Gartner, by 2024, 40% of privacy compliance technology will rely on AI, up from 5% in 2019, and by 2025, 60% of large organizations will use at least one privacy-enhancing computation technique in analytics, business intelligence, or cloud computing, and financial services industry is no exempted.

For instance, effective April 2024, Nigerian financial institutions will be mandated to implement stricter Know Your Customer (KYC) measures, requiring all customers to provide their Bank Verification Number or a national identification number (NIN) for account or wallet opening, following a circular by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

“Our goal is to enable information exchange and knowledge sharing on key industry insights issues amongst key stakeholders, with the objective of ensuring a collaborative and proactive approach to push for policies that enable growth, tackling/mitigating fraud and limiting occurrences and losses”, said Mr. Chike Onwuegbuchi, the co-founder of TechCastle Foundation, organisers of Payment Forum Nigeria (PfN).

He said that the Forum is driven by the reasons to; “educate and inform financial service players and other stakeholders on various issues and trends (both locally and globally); proactively share data/information amongst banks, Fintechs and other service providers, to enable prompt responses to prevent and/or limit (customer-related) losses; and discuss key Payments security trends”.

The forum is organised by TechCastle Foundation and sponsored by: Moniepoint, Digital Encode Limited, Cybervergent, Payble, inq. Digital Nigeria Limited, with support from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).


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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

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Subscribers Decry Poor Service Delivery by Telcos, Accuse NCC of Playing the Ostrich

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Telecommunications subscribers have waxed angrily at the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for pretending that everything was fine while subscribers grapple with unreliable internet and call services.

Subscribers Decry Poor Service Delivery by Telcos, Accuse NCC of Playing the Ostrich

They want the regulator could do more by compelling Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), also known as telcos, to improve their service.

Some of the major complaints are connection failures, poor data service, fluctuating network, data roll over challenges, illegal credit deductions and uncompleted calls.

Experts said that the drop in service quality has been attributed to the fact that three out of the four mobile network operators failed to meet the industry standards for network service.

In separate calls; Association of Telephone, CableTv, and Internet Subscribers of Nigeria (ATCIS-Nigeria) and National Association of Telecoms Subscribers of Nigeria (NATCOM) urged the NCC to live up to its responsibility of protecting subscribers.

Sina Bilesanmi, president, ATCIS-Nigeria, accused the NCC of pretending that everything was fine while subscribers groaned.

He said that ATCIS-Nigeria members have not only complained about drop calls and inability to originate calls, but they are also unable to access their airtime balance after recharging.

Bilesanmi argued that now that service quality has nosedived, there was no ground for telcos to justify any demand for a tariff increase.

He said that “ I have been inundated with complaints about low service quality from my members.

“ It is worrisome and the NCC is pretending that all is well. This low service quality is coming at a time when the MNOs are asking for a hike in tariff and our members were beginning to show understanding because, quite frankly, the tariff has remained the same for over a decade.

“The operators should tell us if they have any challenges.”

Elsewhere, Deolu Ogunbanjo, national president, NATCOM, said the service rendered by the MNOs had become  ‘’so bad’ that subscribers now lament openly.

He added that the telcos, on their part,   complained about their constraints to expand capacity.”

He said: “It(service delivery) has been so bad. It was one of the issues raised last Thursday but the telcos complained about their constraint to expand capacity and the need to raise tariff.”

Ogunbanjo said he supported the demand for an increase in tariff because it was overdue.

He, however, said an increase must be marginal in order not to asphyxiate the industry.

 

 


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Meta Disagrees with $220m Fine, Sets for Appeal

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Meta, the parent company of WhatsApp and Facebook, is preparing to appeal a decision by Nigerian regulators to impose a $220 million fine against it for alleged market power abuse and privacy violations.

Meta Disagrees with $220m Fine, Sets for Appeal

The company said that “We disagree with this decision as well as the fine and we are appealing the decision,” a WhatsApp spokesperson said.

The spokesperson did not specify where and when the appeal will be lodged.

It will be recalled that the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) published the fine last week, capping a three-year investigation.

The inquiry focused on data sharing practices on WhatsApp, the most widely used messaging service in Nigeria.

The commission claimed it found evidence of “multiple and repeated, as well as continuing infringements” of the country’s data protection and competition laws and imposed the fine as a final resolution.

Meta was ordered to “immediately reinstate the rights of Nigerian users to self-determine and control” data sharing, and stop sharing WhatsApp users’ information “with other Facebook companies and third parties” without users’ active consent.

It was also required to pay $35,000 to cover the cost of the commission’s investigation, in addition to the $220 million penalty. Both amounts are to be paid within 60 days from July 18.

Nigeria began looking into WhatsApp, which has an estimated 51 million users in the country, in May 2021.

That was four months after the app updated its global privacy policy on messaging between individuals and businesses, and how users’ data may be shared with Facebook.

Meta began responding to concerns detailed in Nigeria’s report around March this year, pledging to cooperate towards “reaching an amicable resolution,” according to the commission.

A “remedy package” proposed by Meta and sent mid-April proved unsatisfactory to the commission, however, its report said.

It is not clear what this package is — an email for comment to the commission was not responded to. Nigeria still expects Meta to implement it and publish it on WhatsApp’s website within two weeks, in addition to the fines.

Beyond complying with its laws, Nigeria’s aim with the penalties is to get Meta to “cease the exploitation of consumers and their market abuse,” the commission said.

 

 


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WATRA Says Digital Economy Contributes $30Bn Annually to W/African GDP

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The West Africa Telecommunications Regulators Assembly (WATRA) has said that the digital economy currently contributes around $30 billion annually to the region’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

WATRA Says Digital Economy Contributes $30Bn Annually to W/African GDP

WATRA also called for lower cost of internet access to enhance the digital economy for the respective countries in the region.

Mr Aliyu Aboki, executive secretary, WATRA, who disclosed this during a virtual press conference at the weekend also said the West African telecommunications market is now valued at $63.17 billion with over 400 million mobile subscribers.

However, Aboki said WATRS is working on initiatives to facilitate infrastructure sharing among West African countries to lower the cost of internet for telecom subscribers across the region.

According to him, infrastructure such as gateways, and data centres are facilities that could be shared by countries in the region.

Admitting that the cost of internet across West African countries is still high, Aboki said a lower cost of internet access would enhance the digital economy for the respective countries in the region and increase the consumption of data by the citizens, which in turn generate more revenue for the telecom operators.

“We are exploring regional initiatives to share infrastructure and reduce cost. For example, we have infrastructures like gateways, data center servers, and so on. These are infrastructures that can be shared and used by different countries without necessarily having everyone building the same infrastructure.

“So, we are collectively looking at these rich regional initiatives that enable us to share infrastructure to bring down the cost of Internet ultimately,” the WATRA scribe said.

 

 


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