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SystemSpecs Releases Remita Mobile App

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SystemSpecs, a financial technology company in Nigeria and owner of Remita, has announced the release of the Beta version of Remita Mobile Application, to empower individuals to view multiple bank balances on one screen, make payments from and to various bank accounts including microfinance banks, settle various bills to Federal and State Government agencies as well as other billers, easily manage their expenses, and other key capabilities that allow users stay in firm control of their finance.

“Remita Mobile App will provide individuals with a much easier way to manage their finance,” said John Obaro, SystemSpecs’ Managing Director at a ceremony held recently in Lagos where a new Remita logo was also unveiled.

“Now, with Remita App, customers of various banks will experience increased convenience, as they would be able to access their various accounts, seamlessly settle bills, and stay in firm control of their finance, anytime, from anywhere, on a single app.”

With this app, individuals will be able to send and receive money from the comfort of their phones, without needing any other mobile app or visiting any bank branch. Also with the app, payers can respond to payment requests from restaurants, shopping outlets, schools, family, friends or other billers by quickly snapping a QR code from their smartphone or tapping their device against the biller’s to complete transactions.

“We are optimistic that this solution will contribute significantly to transforming the financial culture in Nigeria,” said Adédèjì Olówè, Executive Director at SystemSpecs.

“Not only will users be able to effortlessly settle utility bills using their mobile phones, Remita App’s exciting expense management feature will enable them make more financially intelligent decisions as it provides easy-to-understand colourful charts which analyse and display expense patterns.”

 Also on the occasion, the winners of the Remita Seed Fund for startups received financial support to tune of one million naira each. They had emerged winners after successfully pitching at the fifth edition of StartUP Friday organised by the Office for ICT Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIIE), a subsidiary of National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).

The beneficiaries are Temie Giwa-Tubosun of LifeBank Technology and Logistics Limited, Damilare Ogunleye of Lasiko Ltd, and Taiwo Ayanleye of Stutern Limited.

Speaking on the gesture, John Obaro said: “We are always glad to support innovative tech-driven startups to grow and scale their businesses. Remita Seed Fund is one of our contributions to the advancement of Nigeria’s technology ecosystem. It is our belief and desire that it will help these three tech startups to take their ideas to the next level.”

Commenting on the rebranding of Remita, David Okeme, SystemSpecs’ Chief Marketing Officer, said: “The new Remita logo signifies our entry into a new phase in the history of the brand and represents our strong desire to consistently remain top of our customers’ mind.”

Speaking further, Okeme added: “We expect that the new Remita identity will affectionately resonate with existing and potential users, especially at this time we are introducing another innovation to them with the release of Remita Mobile App.”

With Remita Mobile App, payments can be requested in the most convenient manner. Whether from customers for services rendered, from family and friends for various purposes like weddings, birthdays, for ‘aso-ebi’ payment contributions, or any other need.

Funds or payment request can also be made by generating QR codes and sharing with customers and friends via email or other social media channels. Asides the standard industry security measures which have been built into the app,

Remita has specific security layers that guarantee the integrity of all access and transactions, including Personal Security Number, fingerprint authentication, One-Time Password Verification, among others. Olówè however added that, “Currently, six Nigerian banks—Zenith, UBA, Access, Wema, FCMB, and Providus—have been fully integrated on the mobile application, with more banks already lined up to be introduced in the coming days when we take the solution out of the Beta phase.”

Not only individual bank accounts can be accessed on Remita Mobile App, as individuals who play various roles on their corporate bank accounts will be able to play such roles on the App in addition to being able to conveniently manage their various personal bank accounts.

 The app is the mobile version of the multiple award-winning Remita payment solution, which has revolutionalised the payment processes of various individuals and organisations in Nigeria for more than a decade. The Beta version of Remita Mobile App is available for download on Android Play Store


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E-Financial

Banks Fingered in $2trn Dirty Money Scam

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Some of the world’s top banks have been found to be complicit in aiding criminals move $2 trillion in dirty money around the world, according to leaked government files.

Banks Fingered in $2trn Dirty Money Scam

The exposition was done by Buzzfeed News and shared with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), a group that brings together investigative journalists from around the world, which distributed them to 108 news organisations in 88 countries.

In the revealing documents, they said: “global banks including JPMorgan, HSBC, Standard Chartered Bank, Deutsche Bank, Bank of New York Mellon, among others defied money laundering crackdowns by moving staggering sums of illicit cash for shadowy characters and criminal networks that have spread chaos and undermined democracy around the world.”

It was also revealed that they kept profiting from these powerful and dangerous players even after the United States authorities fined these financial institutions for earlier failures to stem flows of dirty money.

FinCEN is the US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. These are the people at the US Treasury who combat financial crime. Concerns about transactions made in US dollars need to be sent to FinCEN, even if they took place outside the US.

Known as the FinCEN files, these are more than 2,600 documents which banks sent to the US authorities between 2000 and 2017 which help show that these banks raise concerns about what their clients might be doing.

They have also been regarded as some of the international banking system’s most closely guarded secrets.

Some of what has been found so far showed that JPMorgan, the largest bank based in the United States, moved money for people and companies tied to the massive looting of public funds in Malaysia, Venezuela and Ukraine, the leaked documents reveal.

The bank moved more than $1 billion for the fugitive financier behind Malaysia’s 1MDB scandal, the records show, and more than $2 million for a young energy mogul’s company that has been accused of cheating Venezuela’s government and helping cause electrical blackouts that crippled large parts of the country.

JPMorgan also processed more than $50 million in payments over a decade, the records show, for Paul Manafort, the former campaign manager for President Donald Trump. The bank shuttled at least $6.9 million in Manafort transactions in the 14 months after he resigned from the campaign amid a swirl of money laundering and corruption allegations spawning from his work with a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine.

It was also revealed that one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s closest associates used Barclays bank in London to avoid sanctions which were meant to stop him from using financial services in the West. Some of the cash was used to buy works of art.

HSBC allowed fraudsters to transfer millions of dollars around the world even after it had learned of their scam, leaked secret files show.

Britain’s biggest bank moved the money through its US business to HSBC accounts in Hong Kong in 2013 and 2014.

The United Arab Emirates’ central bank failed to act on warnings about a local firm which was helping Iran evade sanctions.

Deutsche Bank moved money launderers’ dirty money for organised crime, terrorists and drug traffickers.

Standard Chartered moved cash for Arab Bank for more than a decade after clients’ accounts at the Jordanian bank had been used in funding terrorism.

The FinCEN Files represent less than 0.02 per cent of the more than 12 million suspicious activity reports that financial institutions filed with FinCEN between 2011 and 2017.

Mr Fergus Shiel from ICIJ said the leaked files were an “insight into what banks know about the vast flows of dirty money across the globe”. He said the documents also highlighted the extraordinarily large amounts of money involved.


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SEC Boosts Investor Protection with Digital Assets

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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has explained that its Digital Assets and their Classification and Treatment is aimed at boosting investors’ protection in the capital market.

Emomotimi Agama, Head, Registration, Exchanges, Market Infrastructure and Innovation of the SEC speaking on the guidelines in an interview said: “The first thing the SEC bothers about is investor protection.

“This is no different from what we have been doing. We are looking at investor protection, integrity, transparency and of course we want to make sure that the market is safe and everyone is comfortable with what is going on in the investment climate”.

Agama noted that last year the Commission launched the Fintech Road map and after that was done, it went ahead to set up the block chain virtual financial assets committee.

“These committees are both market wide and principally done to engage the market, to be able to have discussions with the market and get their buy-in into what we are doing.

“What we found out today is that a lot of persons, youths are all involved in this space and it is important that even as far as that is the case, the SEC lives up to the expectations  and making sure that those people that are getting into the business are protected

“Clearly, that is our aim and the market is part of this and indeed the feedback has been wonderful. People are happy with what we are doing, being able to provide some clarity as to where we stand in terms of digital assets regulation.

“Digital assets is the next thing, our idea is not to stifle innovation, but to promote innovation within a reasonable space and that is exactly what we are doing. Section 13 of the ISA empowers us to do this and so we are doing what we have been empowered to do by law,” he said.

On what internal capacities the SEC is developing to meet the challenges of this fast changing digital financial world, Agama said “the SEC is a knowledge based institution and before we come out of this kind of initiatives, we would have done so much research.

“I need to tell you that the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance has been partnering with the SEC and up to this point, we have been engaging with them and several of our staff have been part of their programmes.

“The World Bank and other institutions are also working with us on Fintech to see that the Nigerian landscape is not left barren but guided with basic principles, we will not leave any stone unturned, but ensure that everyone within the SEC that has the responsibility to guiding investors and the populace in making sure we have an investment environment that people will be proud of is provided.

“Capacity building is a continuous exercise, we will continue to upgrade ourselves, we will continue to learn because knowledge is for life”.


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Rising Covid-19 Cases Keep Risk Assets Under Pressure

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By Hussein Sayed, Chief Market Strategist at FXTM

Equity markets kicked off Monday on the back foot following three weeks of consecutive declines in US stocks, which marked the longest weekly losing streak since 2019. Investors are becoming increasingly worried about the momentum in the economic recovery given the resurgent numbers of global Covid-19 cases and lack of progress on a new US stimulus package.

Although President Trump signaled his readiness to back a bigger stimulus bill last week, the Supreme Court’s empty seat left by the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg is likely to complicate the matter. The fight between the President and Congressional Democrats on whether to fill the vacant seat now or wait until after the election is expected to lead to more delays in reaching a middle ground on a new fiscal package. Hence, we would expect that the much-needed stimulus will be pushed back until after the US elections.

Given that the list of uncertainties is growing, especially on the pandemic front, risk is now skewed to the downside. We have US elections just around the corner, hefty valuations in growth sectors despite the recent correction and the high stakes of possible national lockdowns in the UK and elsewhere all pointing to waning momentum in the economic recovery. All these factors indicate more volatile times for the next several weeks.

Datawise, investors need to keep a close eye on September’s flash PMIs coming out of Germany, France and the UK this week for further indications on how the big European economies are faring following the strong rebound in early Q3. Signs of weakness here will be a strong signal that the economic recovery is indeed losing its way and further action is needed from fiscal and monetary policymakers.

Currency markets are not yet reflecting the risk aversion seen in equities. The Dollar is trading slightly lower against its major peers, with the DXY -0.15% at the time of writing. The Fed is clearly the winner among other central banks in providing the most accommodative monetary policy, which means the long-term projections for the Dollar remain to the downside. However, if the selloff in US equities accelerates this week, expect the greenback to regain some support.

In commodity markets, Brent fell by 1% after trading slightly higher in early Asian trade. The battle between the bulls and bears is keeping prices rangebound between $40 and $45. At this stage, the demand outlook is far more important than the supply side. That’s why oil traders need to keep a close eye on the trajectory of the virus, especially if it’s going to lead to renewed lockdowns. Gold is also another commodity stuck in a narrow range as traders await new clues on the Fed’s policy approach towards inflation.  This could happen later this week as Chairman Jerome Powell may provide new hints when he appears before the Congress on Tuesday.

 


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