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Tuesday 19th January, 2021



Access Bank Reaffirms Commitment To Tech Innovation, As Bajomo Emerges New President Of FintechNGR



Access Bank has reiterated its commitment to advancing the frontiers of industry-agnostic technological innovation across Africa with Nigeria in focus.

This position is entrenched by Access Bank’s sponsorship of the Nigerian Fintech week 2020.

The weeklong event sought to highlight FinTech as a solution to problems across different industries including health, agriculture and logistics.

Ade Bajomo, the Executive Director for Information Technology and Operations at Access Bank Plc, said at the event, “Access Bank is committed to positively impacting lives and building the economy through technology.

“For years, the Bank has invested in several initiatives geared towards improving access to technological innovations while providing platforms for tech enthusiasts to innovate and make a massive impact on society.”

DigitalTimesNG understands that one of such innovations is Facepay which is a pioneer solution in Africa that captures the face of an individual and leverages same to grant access to financial services for the unbanked, make instore payments seamlessly at merchant locations and subsequently build queueless branches.

Furthermore, Ade Bajomo spoke about how various digital identity systems are leveraged across the world to provide economic inclusion for one billion people who are estimated to lack access to financial services because they do not have a form of legally recognised Identity.

Bajomo said the foremost example was how India’s Aadhaar identity management programme which has 1.2 billion Indians has been leveraged for financial inclusion, direct beneficiary programmes, humanitarian assistance, AML compliance and cost savings in Government processes.

He stated that Nigeria has a lot to learn from this and Access Bank is at the forefront of leveraging digital identity systems to promote economic inclusion.

Bajomo also added that “By partnering with the Africa Fintech Foundry and sponsoring a momentous occasion like the Nigerian FinTech Week, the Bank is contributing to the strides that we are experiencing in the Fintech landscape and to the growth of the economy at large.

“This is done through thought leadership, acceleration and incubation of tech start-ups, hosting of hackathons and delivering digital products tailored to the African market. Through these interventions, other sectors of the economy would be able to experience a 360-degree growth as well.”

Further cementing Access Bank’s involvement in the Fintech, Ade Bajomo was inaugurated as the new President of FintechNGR  at the 2020 AGM of the association.

Speaking after his inauguration, Bajomo stated that he would work with members of the association and the industry to create solutions, employment, wealth and capacity, as well as position Nigeria as a leading market for global Fintech innovation and investment.

In his capacity as president, Bajomo will be tasked with furthering the strategic mandate of the association to accelerate, connect and advocate with all stakeholders which include members of Fintech Association of Nigeria, innovators and Fintech thought leaders, techpreneurs, Venture capitalists, accelerators, the Regtech Community, other Fintech associations and other well-meaning partners who can help the association realise its ambitions.

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MasterCard Launches Cloud POS Acceptance Tech



Photo credit: finextra

MasterCard has teamed up with NMI and Global Payments to launch its first cloud point-of-sale acceptance technology.

MasterCard already helps businesses accept contactless payments using just an Android smartphone or tablet through its Tap on Phone technology.

It is now working with IT services provider Computer Engineering Group to pilot a cloud version that sees software hosted on Microsoft Azure.

Cloud POS moves key parts of the acceptance software – the components which enable the processing of contactless transactions and certain security functions – from the individual smartphone to the cloud.

This, says MasterCard, ensures strong security, cuts development and maintenance costs, and creates scalable distribution channels by allowing immediate connectivity to partners.

Cloud POS also becomes a new channel for MasterCard and its partners to offer value-added services to customers and businesses.

The firm says it will make its pre-certified Cloud POS SDKs openly available in multiple cloud environments, encouraging fintechs, acquirers and processors to innovate and co-create new cloud-first products.

Milan Gauder, global head, acceptance solutions group, MasterCard, says: “We continue to see an accelerating shift to digital payments, with businesses of all sizes wanting to provide swift, secure, compelling point-of-sale experiences.

“Cloud POS enables us to make these experiences available to our partners with greater speed and efficiency.”


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First Bank Launches Virtual Payment Card



First Bank of Nigeria Limited said it has launched a virtual payment card, a naira-denominated debit card and digital representation of the plastic debit card.

The bank said in a statement titled ‘FirstBank begins the year with an innovative, convenient virtual payment card’, that the card was designed to be linked to either a customer’s operative account or wallet account.

“The FirstBank virtual payment card is a suitable alternative to the use of cash and cheques, with its wide-range features, which include the ability of cardholders to protect his/her card using the block and unblock capabilities; PIN reset; change PIN as well as view statement at one’s convenience.

“It also enables diaspora customers to spend from his/her FirstBank account within the spending limit advised by the bank without the need for a physical card,” the bank said in the statement.

FirstBank noted that the virtual payment card is a safe, convenient, and an easy way of making e-commerce payments, amongst other functionalities.

“The virtual payment card can be created via the bank’s leading digital channels: FirstMobile or Firstmonie Wallet applications.

“Customers can download the card; activate the card and consummate transactions all at once from the comfort of their homes/offices. No branch visit is required.

“Customers are advised to update their mobile application to the latest version, then select card services on the FirstMobile App and ‘my virtual card’ application to create a virtual card at the cost of N215 (VAT inclusive),” the bank said.

Deputy Managing Director, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Mr Gbenga Shobo, said, “The launch of our virtual payment card is yet another secure and seamless way we promote electronic banking while enabling customers to carry out their transactions on the web.

“The virtual payment card is also designed to guard against the spread of the COVID-19 as it does not require physical interaction between the customer and FirstBank branches. We enjoin our customers to download the application and stay ahead in modern banking.”


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M-Pesa Scores Another Fintech First, Joins United For Wildlife Financial Taskforce



Photo: Courtesy ITNews Africa

M-Pesa said it has become the first mobile money provider in Africa to join the Financial Taskforce established by United for Wildlife, a coalition of charities that works to tackle the illegal wildlife trade, reports ITNews Africa.

The M-Pesa mobile money system has become Africa’s most popular financial services provider and the continent’s leading financial technology platform.

M-Pesa is actively used by 41.5 million customers across seven African countries who make over 12.2 billion transactions per annum.

The platform also enables individuals and businesses to pay bills, create savings and loan accounts and to access overdraft facilities, commercial services and healthcare.

“The environment remains a critical, shared communal resource and has been under threat from the illegal trade of wildlife. The future of our economy, families and children, therefore, depends on protecting our wildlife and our natural ecosystems,” says Sitoyo Lopokoyit, CEO of M-Pesa Africa.

Vodacom Group International Markets Chief Officer, Diego Gutierrez added, “Financial institutions, together with the broader private sector, have a responsibility to do whatever is within their collective power to help preserve the world’s natural heritage by combating illicit funds from the illegal wildlife trade.

“Through M-Pesa, the Vodacom Group is pleased to join forces with various other signatories to support the United for Wildlife Financial Taskforce.”

Kate Bedwell, Head of Governance, Risk and Compliance for M-Pesa, explained that “criminal activity not only endangers animals and threatens the security of rangers but also contributes to the spread of zoonotic diseases – infections caused by a pathogen that has jumped from animal to humans – such as COVID-19 and Ebola.”

United for Wildlife’s Financial Taskforce was established in 2018 via a Declaration signed at Mansion House in London. The Declaration commits signatories to use financial intelligence and resources to support law enforcement efforts to pursue the illegal wildlife trade’s greatest beneficiaries.

Lopokoyit concluded, “M-Pesa will play a critical role in the mission to stop the illegal wildlife trade by ensuring that there are no illegal funds going through our platform to support or to help this illegal activity.”


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