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Just In: Opay shuts down other business arms to focus mainly on fintech

The company will now focus on its fintech business which has always been its core.

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Opay

Opay announced this afternoon that it would be shutting down some of its business units (for now) to focus only on financial technology services.

A press statement by the company, as seen by Nairametrics, primarily blamed the development on the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as a recent regulation by the Lagos State Government which banned commercial motorcycles across much of the Lagos metropolitan area.

The business units that have been put on hold by the company include all its ride-hailing platforms (ORide and OCar), as well as OExpress, its delivery business.

Opay also noted that ride-hailing companies around the world have particularly been hit hard by the pandemic which caused rippling economic effects across the world. The company said it foresaw the negative impacts of the pandemic and had already begun restructuring long before now. According to the statement by the company, this final restructuring is expected to have a very minimal impact on its business as a whole. Part of the statement said:

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“We can confirm that some of our business units including the ride-hailing services ORide, OCar as well as our logistics service OExpress will be put on pause. This is largely due to the harsh business conditions which have affected many Nigerian companies, including ours, during this COVID-19 pandemic, the lockdown, and government ban. 

READ ALSO: Uber withdraws financial forecast, reduces assets value by $2 billion

“Globally, ride-sharing businesses have been heavily impacted by the pandemic. But several months ago, foreseeing this issue, OPay had already taken pre-emptive steps to restructure our business focus away from rides. It is worthy to note that this final restructuring has minimal impact on OPay as a whole business.”

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In the meantime, Opay will focus on its fintech service, providing payment solutions to Nigerian merchants within the eCommerce space. Interestingly, while the Chinese-owned company is known by most Nigerians because of its ride-hailing services, the core of its business has always been fintech. As a matter of fact, all these other ventures that were just put on hold were established with the intention of consolidating the payments business.

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“It is important to clarify that ride-sharing had always been only one part, and not a major part of Opay’s diversified business in Nigeria, I fact, Opay had been investing more and seeing accelerated growth in its commitment to Nigeria’s financial and technology inclusion,” the company explained.

As a full-fledged fintech firm and already a major player in the space, Opay will now continue to compete with the likes of Paga, Paystack, and even Flutterwave.

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Emmanuel is a professional writer and business journalist, with interests covering Banking & Finance, Mergers and Acquisitions, Corporate Profiles, Brand Communication, Fintech, and MSMEs. He initially joined Nairametrics as an all-round Business Analyst, but later began focusing on and covering the financial services sector. He has also held various leadership roles, including Senior Editor, QAQC Lead, and Deputy Managing Editor. Emmanuel holds an M.Sc in International Relations from the University of Ibadan, graduating with Distinction. He also graduated with a Second Class Honours (Upper Division) from the Department of Philosophy & Logic, University of Ibadan. If you have a scoop for him, you may contact him via his email- [email protected] You may also contact him through various social media platforms, preferably LinkedIn and Twitter.

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Coronavirus

COVID-19 Update in Nigeria

On the 25th of November 2020, 198 new confirmed cases were recorded in Nigeria

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The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria continues to record significant increases as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 66,805 confirmed cases.

On the 25th of November 2020, 198 new confirmed cases were recorded in Nigeria, having carried out a total daily test of 5,838 samples across the country.

To date, 66,805 cases have been confirmed, 62,493 cases have been discharged and 1,169 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 749,136 tests have been carried out as of November 25th, 2020 compared to 743,298 tests a day earlier.

COVID-19 Case Updates- 25th November 2020,

  • Total Number of Cases – 66,805
  • Total Number Discharged – 62,493
  • Total Deaths – 1,169
  • Total Tests Carried out – 749,136

According to the NCDC, the 198 new cases were reported from 13 states- FCT (53), Lagos (48), Ogun (40), Akwa Ibom (20), Bauchi (9), Plateau (8), Kaduna (5), Kano (4), Benue (3), Jigawa (3), Nasarawa(3), Edo (1), Kwara (1)

Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 23,066, followed by Abuja (6,629), Plateau (3,813), Oyo (3,715), Rivers (2,963), Kaduna (2,945), Edo (2,696), Ogun (2,196), Delta (1,823), Kano (1,781), Ondo (1,727), Enugu (1,332),  Kwara (1,096), Ebonyi (1,055), Katsina (1,012), Osun (945), Gombe (938). Abia (926), Bauchi (762), and Borno (745).

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Imo State has recorded 662  cases, Benue (496), Nasarawa (488), Bayelsa (445),  Ekiti (354), Akwa Ibom (339), Jigawa (331), Niger (296), Anambra (285), Adamawa (261), Sokoto (165), Taraba (157), Yobe (94), Kebbi (93), Cross River (90), Zamfara (79), while Kogi state has recorded 5 cases only.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: Western diplomats warn of disease explosion, poor handling by government

Lock Down and Curfew

In a move to combat the spread of the pandemic disease, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days, which took effect from 11 pm on Monday, 30th March 2020.

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The movement restriction, which was extended by another two-weeks period, has been partially put on hold with some businesses commencing operations from May 4. On April 27th, 2020, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari declared an overnight curfew from 8 pm to 6 am across the country, as part of new measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19. This comes along with the phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos, and Ogun States, which took effect from Saturday, 2nd May 2020, at 9 am.

On Monday, 29th June 2020 the federal government extended the second phase of the eased lockdown by 4 weeks and approved interstate movement outside curfew hours with effect from July 1, 2020. Also, on Monday 27th July 2020, the federal government extended the second phase of eased lockdown by an additional one week.

On Thursday, 6th August 2020 the federal government through the secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 announced the extension of the second phase of eased lockdown by another four (4) weeks.

READ ALSO: Bill Gates says Trump’s WHO funding suspension is dangerous

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Tech News

Tech innovations driving businesses to new success

Here, we have mentioned some significant tech innovations that help businesses to get more success.

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In the last few years, the development of new technologies has changed the way we function in our daily lives. The things that were quite impossible to think about a few decades ago can be done within seconds with the help of newly developed gadgets. New technologies have made easy and quick communication as well as it has transformed the way of thinking and processing information. This evolution of new techs is also creating a revolution in the business sectors. Most of the people are diverting to online businesses and these tech innovations are necessary to maximize the chances of getting success. The technological revolution has also impacted offline businesses as well. Here, we have mentioned some significant tech innovations that help businesses to get more success.

Innovative Business Management Systems

Whether it is an online business or the offline business, such business management systems help businesses to manage all the necessary information. They automate the information processes and simplify it. The management of finance, marketing, sales, purchase, and all the other important processes of any company to function have become easier thanks to ERP.

ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) is in trend as well as a basic necessity for businesses. Such systems allow businesses to have a centralized database and make it easier to have proper control and the security of the products or the services. The proper arrangement of data and the information allow better decision power.

Mobile Application

The introduction of mobile phones and similar devices with internet connectivity has impacted the behavior of people as well as businesses. In order to create a communication channel with potential buyers or customers, mobile applications are being developed by businesses. These days when people use the smartphone more than other devices, businesses are reaching their customers through such apps.

In this category, we can take the example of online gambling. Online gambling services were initially available for computer users, but now seeing the huge target market among smartphone users, they offer a mobile application for the services to offer a customized experience. For instance, sport888 bet online offers mobile applications for mobile platforms so, their customer can have access to their betting service anytime anywhere. However, there are various things that need to be considered while implementing the use of the app in businesses. For example, the design, objective, potential profit in the future, integration of multiple services, and enriching customer experience.

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CRM Systems

Customer is said to be king of the market and that is why relations have to be maintained with all the customers. With customer relationship management systems, even international businesses can maintain relations with customers from all parts of the world. This includes three main services that are related to the customers i.e. marketing, sales, and after services.

By incorporation these systems, businesses can adapt to the complication of the demands of the new customers while improving the services for the current as well as old customers.

Digital Marketing and Artificial Intelligence

These two things are interconnected and help businesses in many ways to maximize success. Nowadays, most people use a smartphone and the internet. So, digital marketing help businesses to approach customer where they are. However, one needs to account that not all the customers can be potential customers and that’s where artificial intelligence arrives. AI technology processes the data of the consumer and helps the businesses to reach their potential customers.

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For instance, when a customer wishes to buy a shoe and searches various deals on the internet, with the help of artificial intelligence, such customers can be reached by the online/offline shoe store. Apart from selling ads, digital marketing, and help the businesses to understand the target market so it can be reached with proper blogs, tutorials, news, and many other things.

Online Communication

The internet has changed all the businesses. Now even a small store from one corner of the world can reach customers from all across the globe with the internet. The Internet has not only bridged the gap between business and customer, but the communication channel inside the businesses has improved. With one online platform, all the employees can be in touch and share all the information. This helps in smoother and quicker functions of the business operation which eventually leads to fast success of the business. The regular updates on the services and products lead to efficient management. Additionally, video conferences for conducting meetings, interviews, and online training has benefited the business in several ways. Thus, the latest communication technology helps businesses to reach their goals quickly.

Data Management Systems

Any business has to manage a bunch of data. Earlier, it was tricky to manage such big data on physical papers. The latest data management systems do not only store the big data without acquiring physical space, but they make it possible to sort this data in a way that it can be accessed and analyzed easily in the future.

Information/data is knowledge, and it can be accessed easily and quickly with the new data management system. The proper management system can help in making better decisions for businesses as well as customers in the future.

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Cryptocurrency

28 million merchants to be granted crypto usage on PayPal

PayPal CEO, Mr. Schulman recently hinted the company will allow the usage of crypto funding for 28 million merchants.

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PayPal acquires shopping browser extension company for $4 billion

PayPal CEO, Mr. Schulman, recently hinted that the company would allow the usage of crypto funding for the 28 million merchants on its payments platform.

In a report credited to CNBC, the CEO of the payment juggernaut company elaborated further by saying, “Early next year, we’re going to allow cryptocurrencies to be a Funding Source for any transaction happening on all 28 million of our merchants and that will significantly bolster the utility of cryptocurrencies.”

READ: Why PayPal dropped 6% after posting its strongest earnings growth

The Chief Executive also disclosed that it was just a matter of time for digital currency to replace the old traditional forms of fiat currencies (paper money).

He said:

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“As paper money slowly dissipates and disappears from how people are using transactions; Central banks, especially on the retail side, will need to replace paper money with forms of digital fiat currency.”

READ: Ripple emerges as fourth biggest fintech company globally, worth $10 billion

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READ: NIPC releases its Q3 2020 report on Pioneer Status Incentive (PSI) applications

What this means

About a month ago, Nairametrics reported on PayPal Holdings Inc’s announcement that it would provide its users the opportunity to buy, hold, and sell cryptos directly from their PayPal accounts by early 2021.

It also hinted at a strategy to significantly boost its crypto’s utility capability, by making it readily available as a funding source for purchases with its 28 million clients globally.

READ: Unknown identity moves $117 million worth of Ethereum

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In a press statement seen by Nairametrics, Dan Schulman, President and CEO, PayPal, gave key insights on why the global payment company was going crypto:

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“The shift to digital forms of currencies is inevitable, bringing with it clear advantages in terms of financial inclusion and access, efficiency, speed, resilience of the payment system, and the ability for governments to disburse funds to citizens quickly.”

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