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CBN sets new minimum capital for mobile money operators

CBN releases guideline on mobile money services operation.

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MTN Mobile Money, CBN,

In a guideline issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the apex bank has pegged the minimum capital deposit for telcos with intent to deepen financial inclusion in Nigeria through mobile money services at N5 billion.

While mandating that an evidence of the payment of N5 billion must be provided when applying for an Approval in Principle, the CBN granted the telcos a provisional approval to apply for a Payment Service Bank licence through a subsidiary company.

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Recently, Nairametrics had reported that MTN Group, revealed plans to apply for payment banking license in Nigeria and launch a service in the country by the second quarter of 2019.

In its 2018 Q3 financial result for the period ended 30th September 2018, the Group Mobile money customers grew by 1.7 million to 25.8 million users. The group also reported a 1.1 per cent rise in quarterly user base helped partly by strong performances in Nigeria, its largest but increasingly problematic market.

Growing Mobile Money market in Nigeria

Nigeria has recorded a 50 per cent increase in the volume of mobile money services between January to September this year.

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Figures released by the Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS) show that in the nine months under review, volume of mobile money transaction was N1.2 trillion. This is a huge increase, compared with N795.18 billion recorded in the same period last year.

The report also revealed that the number of mobile money customer also rose from 3.2 million recorded in 2017 to 5.54 million during the same period this year.

The growth according to the NIBSS is a reflection of interest Nigerians are gradually showing in mobile money just a few years after it was launched by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

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Patricia

Famuyiwa Damilare is a trained journalist. He holds a Higher National Diploma (HND) in Mass Communication at the prestigious Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ). Damilare is an innovative and transformational leader with broad-based expertise in journalism and media practice at large. He has explored his proven ability in the areas of reporting, curating and generating contents, creatively establishing social media engagements, and mobile editing of videos. It is safe to say he’s a multimedia journalist.

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Economy & Politics

N40 billion Probe: Drama as Ag MD NDDC walks out on legislators

Pondei walked out of the hearing after accusing Hon. Tunji-Ojo of corruption.

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The corruption allegation drama going on between the National Assembly and the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) took a new twist as acting Managing Director of the commission, Prof. Kemebradikumo Pondei and his team on Thursday, walked out on legislators investigating the alleged N40 billion irregular expenditure in the commission.

Pondei walked out of the investigative hearing on Thursday in Abuja, after accusing the Chairman of the House of Representative committee on NDDC, Olubumi Tunji-Ojo (APC-Ondo) of corruption.

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According to the acting Managing Director, “We in the NDDC are not comfortable with the Chairman of this committee, presiding over the matter. 

“He is an interested party and we do not believe that the NDDC can have justice because he cannot seat on his own case.

“We have no issue of appearing, we appeared before the Senate ad hoc committee and as long as he reminds, we will not make any presentation,” he said

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Details later…

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Financial Services

Why Artificial Intelligence will separate winning banks from losers amid COVID-19

Banks around the world were already under pressure to fully deploy Artificial Intelligence prior to the pandemic.

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Artificial Intelligence

Banking experts from around the world believe that Artificial Intelligence (AI) will become the differentiating factor between banks that will succeed and those that will fail, in the new era of global banking.

A new report by The Economist Intelligence Unit, which was sponsored by Geneva-based banking software company Temenos AG, surveyed some 305 banking executives from around the world. 77% of these bankers stated that AI will separate winning banks from losers.

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The role of COVID-19 pandemic

The report also noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has put global banks under immense pressure to readjust their strategies and align with the technological requirements of the 21st-century banking industry.

“Retail, corporate and private banks were already under pressure to deploy new technologies and reshape their company cultures in order to compete with big tech firms and payment players. Now, as digital banking surges due to the coronavirus pandemic, this task is more pressing than ever,” said some part of the report.

Key findings from the report

  • 66% of banking executives say new technologies will continue to drive the global banking sphere for the next five years while regulatory concerns around these technologies remain top of mind for banking executives (42%).
  • 77% of bankers believe that unlocking value from AI will be the differentiator between winning and losing banks.
  • 45% of respondents are focused on transforming their existing business models into digital ecosystems. Therefore, banks are expected to continue to adapt their internal structures to digital technologies in order to enhance customer experience, product offerings, and new revenue streams.

The backstory and the present concerns

Prior to the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic which has destabilised the global economy and raised major health and safety concerns, many banks around the world were already making major efforts towards the adoption of Artificial Intelligence in their daily operations. Bank customers were encouraged to make use of digital banking solutions in a bid to reduce traffic in banking halls.

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To a large extent, this worked, although the pandemic really helped to accelerate the pace. However, the widespread adoption of Artificial Intelligence has not come without some concerns/challenges. According to the report by The Economist Intelligence Unit, data bias, “black box” risk, and lack of human oversight as some of the main concerns bothering bankers.

The report did, however, specify some regulatory guidelines on how best banks can deploy Artificial Intelligence, as you can see below:

  • Ethics and fairness: banks must develop AI models that are ‘ethical by design’. AI use cases and decisions should be monitored and reviewed and data sources regularly evaluated to ensure that data remains representative.
  • Explainability and traceability: steps taken to develop AI models must be documented in order to fully explain AI-based decisions to the individuals they impact.
  • Data quality: bank-wide data governance standards must be established and applied to ensure data accuracy and integrity and avoid bias.
  • Skills: banks must ensure the right level of AI expertise across the business in order to build and maintain AI models, as well as oversee these models. 

Why it matters

Artificial Intelligence is expected to remain very relevant for banks, even after the COVID-pandemic must have finally been brought under control. Therefore, it is expedient for banks around the world to really develop their AI capacity in order to succeed both during and after the pandemic.

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You may download Forging new frontiers: Advanced Technologies will Revolutionise Banking by clicking here.

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Tech News

NITDA launches technology and entrepreneurship scheme

The programme will create local content in Nigeria’s ICT space and jobs in the innovation and tech sector

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The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has launched its Technology Innovation & Entrepreneurship Scheme that is specially designed for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Tech startups.

This was disclosed in a statement shared by the agency and signed by Head, Corporate Affairs, and External Relations, NITDA, Hadiza Umar. In the statement, she explained that the scheme, which targets young skilled Nigerians, would enable the digital economy needed for the growth of the nation’s economy.

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She said, “It is part of Nigeria’s plan to create 100 million jobs in 10 years, and the program would be beneficial for ICT and tech startups in the nation. There is the need to build support systems that would help in reducing the barriers of entry for startups while increasing the capacity of hubs and startups to create new bankable products and services.

“NITDA initiated a scheme to provide opportunities for building the capacity of both hub owners and start-ups to ensure massive creation of technology entrepreneurs and jobs within the industry.” 

According to her, the Digital economic Policy goes in line with the NITDA scheme which ensures skilled hub managers have the necessary support for tech startups and “build innovation ecosystems in their localities.

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READ MORE: NCC creates digital economy department to harness technology in Nigeria

 “It will also build the capacity of hubs to support startups and build local innovation ecosystems, encourage innovation, increase technology and entrepreneurship skills among aspiring and existing entrepreneurs” she added.

She also said the programme will help create local content in Nigeria’s ICT space, render services, and jobs in the innovation and tech sector. The hub managers are required to sign agreements with NITDA to enable them to train managers for other regions. Covering infrastructure needs like Internet and power supply. 

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 “The participants will also be matched with mentors and guided by coaches as they build out their products and services. At the end of the training period, participants will be required to choose if they would like to begin a startup or to get a job,” she added.

She revealed that those who sign up will be placed in a six-month incubator programme which will allow them to gain skills and work experiences needed to build a digital economy. Interested participants are advised to apply, as the portal closes on the 24 of July. See the portal here

 

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