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Verve Promises Continued Efficient Payment Solutions Delivery

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Verve Card has promised to continually improve financial inclusion across borders and make payments much more seamless and efficient.  This promise was made in Lagos by Mitchell Elegbe, Founder/GMD, Interswitch Group, during a media parley to mark Verve’s 10th year anniversary.

The event, which held in Lagos, had in attendance members of the media, partner banks, other trade partners and a representative of the payment industry regulator – Samuel Okojere, Director of Payments Systems Management, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Verve is a leading payments technology and card business in Africa established by Interswitch Group in 2009.  It has since grown to become an independent company of its own with a portfolio of several product offerings.

Elegbe stated that the card scheme has experienced steady and explosive growth in the payment segment.  He said: “Our card scheme has grown from just an idea to solve the payment inefficiencies in Nigeria, into a bouquet of innovative payment solutions for Nigerians, Africans, and the rest of the world.  I consider these first 10 years as years of consolidation and growth. We anticipate the next 10 years to be years of massive investment in unprecedented payment service delivery”, he said.

Noting that nothing good comes easy, Elegbe said that the company has had its fair share of turbulent times, but has succeeded because of its people.  He said: “Our people have trudged on, ensuring that objectives set are met, projects are delivered, relationships with partners are well nurtured and ultimately, customers are satisfied. All these have helped the brand to earn its stripes and come this far. Today, the solutions and products Verve has brought to the marketplace demonstrate what can happen to any endeavor when met with the right people, opportunities and environment.”

Currently, the Verve Classic card is issued in Nigeria and eight other African countries and accepted in 21 African countries; while the Verve Global card is accepted in 185 countries including the U.S, U.K and Dubai.

For Mike Ogbalu III, CEO, Verve International, the story of Verve is one of resilience, innovation, determination and most importantly, a business proposition that has turned out to be successful.

He said: “At the time Verve was introduced, Nigeria was dominated by international card schemes. There was the need to have a domestic card scheme with better understanding of the needs of the Nigerian populace and Africans at large. Today, we have built a payment solution that does not only allow ease of payment across Africa, but has a superstructure that the rest of the world is willing to embrace”

He added: “Verve is not only a payment card; Verve has become a lifestyle for its users. It is the way we pay, play and interact. Verve is both a contact and contactless payment solution, a physical and virtual store of value. It is African’s key to exchange”.

The event kicked off with a rendition in spoken words by Wana Wana titled ‘Vervolution’, followed by a 10-minute documentary on ‘The Verve journey, story & Future’.

There was also a panel session moderated by Mike Ogbalu III which featured discussions about the e-payment sector in Nigeria, its attendant challenges and solutions. The panelists were Gbolahan Joshua, Executive Director, Operations and Information, Fidelity Bank Plc; Olu Akanmu, Executive Director, Retail Banking, FCMB; Akeem Lawal, Divisional CEO, Payment Processing, Interswitch and Stanley Jacobs, Chairman, Committee of e-Business Industry Heads, (CeBIH).

Verve was launched in 2009 and is currently the only African card scheme that is a member of EMVCo, the global body responsible for setting and regulating payment card standards.


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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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