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Tech News

Fintechs must pay close attention to regulators to avoid disruption to operations

Tech-based companies need to align with regulators and policymakers, not just to be agreeable, but also to avoid being misunderstood by lawmakers.

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Nigerian fintech companies

Over and over, we emphasize the importance of tech-based companies doing everything they can to align with regulators and policymakers, not just to be agreeable, but to avoid being misunderstood by lawmakers.

As a matter of fact, fintechs and other startups must foster public sector engagement to be ahead of disruptive regulation. Change is always going be a slow concept to accept for many people and so the need to always follow the rules, especially as it pertains to the government, is crucial.

fintechs, commercial banks, Events in FinTech industry in 2019, Nigeria's fintech industry 2020: The growth frontier of the new decade

The just-concluded annual general meeting and forum of Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria (FICAN) held in Abuja had Dr Ibrahim Alley of the Research Department of NDIC announce that there will no longer be the issuance of licenses to fintech operators; this will have direct implications on fintechs whose business models involve money deposits, and loan issuance.

The reasons stated included, lack of consumer understanding, miss-selling of products and services, financial exclusion, data privacy among others,  but most importantly, he emphasized that fintech operators are required to fully disclose information before they can be licensed.

[READ MORE: Nigeria Fintechs take lead in Africa, attract $122 million fund in 2019)

The benefits of companies offering technology solutions to everyday existence is very evident and cannot be ignored. Dr Alley acknowledged this as well, highlighting how the industry has helped small and medium enterprises, with the ease of access to credits, enhance competition and an all-round increase in the resilience of the financial sector, but only when things are done right.

However, as Dr Alley noted, the concealment of information about operations slows down the pace of licensing in the country.

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There are processes to everything, and the earlier tech companies start embracing that and adhering to them, the sooner all stakeholders can co-exist and be productive. Alley also said the financial regulators in Nigeria, which are the CBN and NDIC, need to fully understand the space before issuing these licenses.

If understanding the process is what is required to facilitate the process of licensing, fintechs must engage, collaborate and create channels to educate and carry regulators along across the happenings in the sector in Nigeria and global best practices.

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Tip Jar, Twitter’s new giveaway feature that lets users send money to you

Twitter has introduced a new feature called Tip Jar that allows you send money to your favourite tweeters.

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US Elections: Twitter, Facebook suspend several news accounts

Twitter has introduced a new feature called Tip Jar that allows you send money to your favourite tweeters.

According to the blog post, “Tip Jar is an easy way to support the incredible voices that make up the conversation on Twitter. This is a first step in our work to create new ways for people to receive and show support on Twitter – with money.”

The new feature utilizes different payment platforms like PayPal, Venmo, Patreon, CashApp, and others.

Users can link their Twitter accounts with Tip Jar to any of these payment providers. Twitter takes no cut.

READ: Facebook is creating an audio chat product similar to Clubhouse

You’ll know an account’s Tip Jar is enabled if you see a Tip Jar icon next to the Follow button on their profile page. Tap the icon, and you’ll see a list of payment services or platforms that the account has enabled. Select whichever payment service or platform you prefer and you’ll be taken off Twitter to the selected app where you can show your support in the amount you choose.

Twitter has released series of features this year as part of its efforts to grow Twitter’s user base to 315 million daily active users by the end of 2023.

The company also launched Twitter crop where images don’t get crop again on Twitter for Android or iOS. Standard aspect ratio images (16:9 and 4:3) will now display in full without any cropping and images will look just like they did when you shot them.

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READ: Does YouTube stand a chance against TikTok?

Lauren Alexander, a Twitter spokesperson said, “Today’s launch is a direct result of the feedback people shared with us last year that the way our algorithm cropped images wasn’t equitable, The new way of presenting images decreases the platform’s reliance on automatic, machine learning-based image cropping.”

Twitter has tested several features and more will be rolled out soon.

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Spotlight Stories

How to activate the safety feature on your phone in case of an emergency, Kidnap

The rise in insecurity has called attention to a hitherto ignored security feature on most android devices and iPhones.

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Cryptocurrencies, Blockchain

Insecurity continues to be a daunting challenge in Nigeria today. There have been countless news of kidnapping, armed robbery and other criminal activities in several parts of the country. This danger has caused paranoia in many people as it dawns on citizens that government alone cannot effectively guarantee the security of lives and properties.

The rise in insecurity has called attention to a hitherto ignored security feature on most android devices and iPhones. Indeed, these hand-held gadgets can become lifesavers in emergency situations such as kidnap or other forms of threat to life and safety.

Android devices and iPhones have emergency features that you can activate in times of needs. You may not have the time to make a phone call or send a message when you are in danger but these features can help you do that by alerting your emergency contacts and sending your location and sometimes, a recording to alert people of your situation.

Here is how to activate this feature.

READ: Whatsapp to require biometric authentication for PC and web access

How to activate the SOS safety feature on Android phones in case of an emergency

  • First, navigate to your ‘Settings’
  • Tap ‘Advanced Features’
  • Tap ‘SOS Messages’
  • Tap the switch at the top of the screen; read the information and then tap ‘Continue’
  • Review the required permissions
  • Tap ‘Start’
  • From here, select either ‘Create Contact’ or ‘Select from Contacts’
  • Choose your emergency contact – they will be the ones to receive the SOS alerts. You can also add multiple contacts.
  • Adjust the different settings. For example, you can adjust how many times you need to press the Side key or Power key before an alert is sent. You can also decide if you’d like to attach images or an audio recording to the SOS message.

Once this setup is completed, you can send emergency SOS messages whenever you are in danger by pressing the Side key or Power key 3 or 4 times rapidly. This will send an SOS message to your designated contact(s).

Note:

The phone must have an active SIM card in order to send an SOS alert. When using the SOS feature, your location, photo, and voice recording will be sent the first time a call is made. It will only send updated locations (every 30 minutes for a span of 24 hours) if you have changed your location.

How to activate the emergency safety feature on iOS phones

Triggering the Emergency SOS on your iPhone is easy.

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Simply hold down the lock button and one of your volume buttons together for 5 seconds to trigger an SOS call to emergency services. Keep holding it to initiate an automatic call and the phone’s siren.

Alternatively, if you’ve enabled an extra feature in your settings, you can use just the screen lock button alone — click it five times in a row to initiate the siren feature.

Again, you can activate this through Apple’s Health app:

  • Open your iPhone’s Health app and tap your profile picture
  • Select ‘Medical ID’ in the next menu
  • Tap ‘Edit’ and then scroll down to your ‘Emergency Contacts’ section
  • Tap the ‘Add’ button to select a contact, and you can indicate their relationship to you
  • Tap ‘Done’ to save changes

After initiating the Emergency SOS feature, iPhone will send each listed emergency contact a text message with a current location and a message that you’ve initiated the SOS. Your location services will automatically turn on when this feature is used, and if you are moving, your contacts will get an update about your final destination.

Why this matters

There are numerous reasons for people to be extra cautious when stepping out these days. Activating this emergency feature on your phone can help to keep you and your loved ones safe in these times of rising insecurity.

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