Zenith General Insurance Company Limited (commonly known as Zenith Insurance) has, in a trailblazing move, partnered with Telecommunications giant – MTN Nigeria to provide the first-ever mobile insurance service in Nigeria.
Using the USSD code *5966#, customers can now buy Third Party Motor Insurance and Personal Accident Insurance on the go, on their mobile phones, whether or not they have access to the internet. It is the dawn of a new era in the Nigerian insurance industry, and Zenith Insurance is at the forefront.
Speaking at the launch of the product at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos on Wednesday, March 18, 2020, the Chief Operating Officer, MTN Nigeria, Mazen Mroue, said, “Financial Inclusion is imperative for economic development and access to insurance is a key component of this. MTN is glad to be the enabling platform for the delivery of digital insurance through mobile phones. We congratulate, Zenith General Insurance and Prudential Zenith Life Insurance for courageously blazing a trail.”
According to Kehinde Borisade, Chief Executive Officer of Zenith Insurance, “There are a lot of misconceptions around the concept of Insurance especially in developing nations such as ours. We at Zenith Insurance are committed to dispelling those notions of insurance being an abstract concept sold by weary old men in dusty shoes, who are nowhere to be found, the minute you have a claim.
“We are bringing Insurance to the fingertips of the ordinary Nigerian who is looking for convenience in his day to day dealings, as well as speed in service delivery. The USSD platform is something that anyone, anywhere, as long as they have a mobile phone can have access to. You don’t even need to have a data plan.”
Presently, customers have the opportunity to purchase mandatory Third-Party Motor Insurance- to cover against damages to other motorists and their vehicles and Personal Accident Insurance- a policy that provides purchasers and their loved ones with the assurance that should they suffer any injury that results in disablement or death, they will be compensated financially for treatment, hospitalization, time out of work or permanent disability. Within two minutes, anyone anywhere in Nigeria can have an Insurance policy.
This novel development will revolutionise the way insurance works in Nigeria. Life just got better, Insurance just got better. Welcome to the EazyLife!
“We enable ATM withdrawals without a card” – Ecobank
With Xpress Cash, customers can send money to their loved ones who are not even banked.
Ecobank has stated that cash withdrawals can be made at all its ATMs, without a card. The Ecobank cardless withdrawal concept, Xpress Cash, enables users to withdraw cash from ATMs using only a mobile phone, no ATM card is required.
The solution is seamless, secure and is driven by the generation of a code (e-token) by an account holder via the bank’s USSD code *326# or mobile app, Ecobank Mobile. The e-token can be sent to customers, non-customers and even people without bank accounts for cash withdrawal at all Ecobank ATMs nationwide.
Speaking in Lagos, Head, Consumer Banking, Olukorede Demola-Adeniyi said, “Digital payments are fast evolving. Customers want seamless experience across channels. We are committed to providing suitable options for our customers. Forgetting your card at home should not be a showstopper when you need cash.”
She went on to explain that the concept recognises the needs of the unbanked. In her words, “With Xpress Cash, our customers can send money to their loved ones who are not even banked. You can send money to your domestic servants or unbanked staff just by generating a code and sharing the code.”
“As a bank, we are not only keen to make our services accessible, but also affordable. Xpress Cash attracts only a flat charge of N50. Our USSD code, *326# offers zero session charges; and transfers of N5000 or less using our digital channels are absolutely free of charge. Also, people abroad who need to send money to their loved ones can do so without paying transfer charges using the Rapidtransfer app,” she said.
LSETF re-launches Idea Hub for tech start-ups
The programme would afford budding entrepreneurs with the necessary leverage to grow their ideas.
In line with its mandate to provide entrepreneurship solutions, training, and upskilling opportunities to innovative entrepreneurs and start-ups in the Lagos tech ecosystem, the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) has re-designed the Idea Hub Programme, under its Lagos Innovates Programme.
The Lagos Innovates Idea Hub Programme is a 12-week incubation programme designed to support tech-enabled businesses with relevant skills, networking opportunities and mentorship from seasoned industry experts; geared towards building a competitive and sustainable brand.
It is expected that the programme would afford budding entrepreneurs with tech solution with the necessary leverage to grow their ideas. The benefits include business incubation and coaching by Lagos Innovates experienced and seasoned Mentors; an opportunity to pitch for Lagos Innovates Workspace Vouchers for 6 or 12 months (valued between ₦120,000 – ₦1,800,000); and access to Lagos Innovates network including Government, corporates, start-ups, local and international investors, etc.
In her remarks on the initiative, the Executive Secretary/CEO, LSETF, Mrs. Teju Abisoye said; “The Lagos Innovates Idea Hub is a programme under one of our delivery mechanism tagged Tech Start-ups (Lagos Innovates), primarily responsible for cementing Lagos’ position as the leading destination for tech and innovation in Africa. With the recent global economic challenges due to the pandemic, we believe technology will be critical in proffering recovery and adaptive solutions as the world embraces the new normal.
“I am confident that with the Idea Hub initiative providing the institutional support, our young innovators in Lagos would be able to pivot toward this paradigm. We encourage growing entrepreneurs in the digital and tech space to take advantage of this programme to create compelling solutions that would accelerate the Lagos economic, business and lifestyle recovery trajectory”, she added.
Some of the seasoned mentors and industry experts of the programme are Bilikiss Adebiyi-Abiola, Founder, We-Cyclers, and DG, Lagos State Records and Archives; Olu Akanmu, Executive Director Retail Banking, FCMB; Nkemdilim Uwaje Begho, CEO, Future Software Resources Ltd; Ponmile Osibo, Partner, Platform Capital; Wale Ajiboye, Associate Director, Acumen; Oluwatoyin Oshinowo, Co-founder and VP Product, Field Insights; Dr Olanrewaju Phillips, Enterprise Account Manager, HP, Central Africa, and Odunayo Eweniyi, Co-Founder and COO, Piggyvest.
Other mentors are Olutosin Oni, Principal, Echo VC; Damilola Thompson, Vice President and Associate General Counsel, Echo VC; Oluwatoyin Emmanuel-Olubake, Associate Director of Portfolio, Acumen; Dayo Kolewole, Partner Microtraction, and Simeon Ononobi, Co-founder/CEO, Thank U Cash.
Interested applicants must run an early-stage start-up with viable and solution-driven ideas; technology must be the core or the enabler of the enterprise, and the founder must reside in Lagos State. Applicants should visit https://ideahub.lagosinnovates.ng to apply before the deadline date, Sunday 16th August 2020.
About Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF)
Established in 2016, LSETF’s vision is to create employment and entrepreneurship opportunities to reduce unemployment in Lagos State. LSETF focuses on promoting entrepreneurship by improving access to finance, strengthening the institutional capacity of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), formulating policies and actively intervening to improve the business environment. The Agency also trains and places unemployed Lagos residents in jobs, while driving innovation within the Lagos ecosystem.
United Capital Asset Management explains mutual funds’ positive performance
Available data showed that the funds surpassed the market realities and beat the benchmarks.
United Capital Asset Management mutual funds have recorded significant growth despite the COVID-19 pandemic that has affected the economy and headwinds in the financial markets. Data made available showed that the funds surpassed the market realities and beat the benchmarks.
According to the fund managers, all our funds are actively managed to generate alpha regardless of the market conditions. For instance, the current return on the United Capital Money Market Fund is 5.7 per cent, which is better two per cent yield on the 91-day Treasury Bill in the secondary market.
Also, the United Capital Bond Fund and Eurobond Funds’ yields stand at 8.9 per cent and 6.9 per cent compared to benchmark returns of 6.0 per cent and 3.0 per cent respectively. The benchmark for the two funds are 3-year average FGN Bond yields and LIBOR+2 per cent respectively.
The company said the funds grew mainly on the back of its robust distribution network. “We have been able to complement our physical touchpoints with effective online sales model that allows clients to subscribe and redeem funds seamlessly. Our superior returns also set us apart our funds continued to return above industry average and benchmarks. For our Eurobond Fund, another key driver of the growth was investors demand for FCY due to the weak outlook for the naira especially amidst the pandemic. We have also maintained a strong A credit rating for our Money Market Fund, which gives investors comfort in investing in our funds,” the firm explained.
Commenting further, the Managing Director/CEO United Capital Asset Management, Odiri Oginni, the firm has constantly supported its clients on their journey to financial independence through our mutual funds. “Our mutual funds have grown much faster than the overall market in the last 18 months while returns on the funds consistently outperformed benchmarks, placing us amongst the top five Asset Managers by mutual funds size in the market. We hope to continue in this streak and even surpass it in the months and years ahead,” he said.
Explore Advanced Financial Calculators on Nairametrics
Also commenting, the Group Executive Director, United Capital Plc, Sunny Anene, stated: “the strong growth in the funds under management of our Asset Management subsidiary points to a high level of investor confidence in our brand as we continue to reward our clients with above-market returns regardless of challenges in the market. With an investment-grade credit rating, asset under management in excess of N150 billion, cutting across privately managed funds and 6 collective investment schemes, we remain positioned as a fund manager of choice in Nigeria today.”