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Wednesday 18th May, 2022

FINANCE

Financial Inclusion: Remita Partners MTN’s Yello Digital Financial Services

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Remita, a leading Africa-focused fintech brand, has partnered with Yello Digital Financial Services (YDFS), the Fintech subsidiary of MTN Nigeria and the operator of MoMo Agent Service, to extend payment and other financial services to individuals, groups and businesses at the grassroots across Nigeria.

This partnership according to the companies will further drive the financial inclusion of the unbanked and underbanked population.

With this collaboration, customers will now be able to approach any of the over 150,000 MoMo agents in Nigeria at locations closer to them to initiate and seamlessly conduct transactions such as payment of school fees, water and electricity bills, tax remittances, internet subscription renewals, money transfer, payments to state and federal government MDAs.

In addition, MoMo agents will be able to top up their wallets on the go through any of Remita’s multiple payment options including USSD, internet banking, debit/credit card, Mobile Wallet as well as through branches of all commercial banks and about 400 microfinance banks.

Usoro Usoro, Chief Executive Officer, Y’ello Digital Financial Services said: “We are delighted about YDFS’ partnership with Remita, as it offers yet another opportunity to extend access to financial services to a much broader section of Nigerians, directly strengthening the financial inclusion aspirations of the Central Bank of Nigeria, which we are committed to and in tandem with our brand promise.

“Our customers can access our services across Nigeria, as we continue working closely with the support of our principal partner bank, Access Bank, to close the financial gap among the under-served.”

ALSO READ  Financial Inclusion: 9PSB CEO Calls For Targeted Content To Accelerate Growth In Nigeria

Abayomi Oniku, Divisional Head of Remita Business Development, said: “It is always gratifying to add value to humanity, irrespective of who it is or their location. This is one of the reasons we are excited about our partnership with Yello Digital Financial Service.

“Not only will this partnership provide more veritable means for people in various communities across Nigeria to access already existing financial services; it will also catalyse various initiatives at the community level, with benefits spanning the entire value chain and further improving the quality of lives.”

YDFS is a financial service provider in agency banking and super-agent operations under the CBN Super-Agent framework and agent banking guidelines.

Working together with Access Bank, it provides, among others, an agent network to serve financial institutions in Nigeria.

Launched in 2005, Remita helps individuals, businesses and governments to make and receive payment, manage their finances across multiple banks seamlessly, and provide infrastructure and services to banking and the fintech ecosystems.

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FINANCE

Financial Inclusion: 9PSB CEO Calls For Targeted Content To Accelerate Growth In Nigeria

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L-R: Olaniyi Ayoola, Team Lead and Convener, Tech Summit, Ogun, 2022; Abimbola Alale, CEO, Nigerian Communication Satellite Limited (NIGCOMSAT; Branka Mracajac, CEO, 9 Payment Service Bank (9PSB)/Keynote Speaker, and Jude Abaga, Nigerian music producer, at the Tech Summit Ogun, 2022 which held recently at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, Abeokuta, Ogun State…

The Chief Executive Officer, 9PSB, Branka Mracajac, has emphasised the need to pay close attention to content creation as an important factor in driving and accelerating financial inclusion in the country, stating that it is capable of enhancing the future of digital banking in the long-term.

Mracajac spoke while presenting a keynote address, themed “Content Creation and Financial Inclusion: The Future of Digital Banking” at the Tech Summit Ogun 2022, which was held at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library Abeokuta, Ogun State on Thursday, February 17, 2022.

According to her, while there are ongoing efforts to support the country’s financial inclusion drive, a lot more rest on formulating tailored strategies that address specific needs.

“Providing access to the banking agents and touchpoints across the country is happening as we speak; payment service banks, microfinance banks, and FinTech companies are all working on this.

“But will this be enough? Will the access to digital banks change the mindset of Nigerians in rural areas of the country and be enough to drive the transition from cash to a cashless society?” she questioned.

Proffering the way forward, Mracajac stressed the need to provide financial literacy through content that speaks to an average Nigerian in unserved rural areas of the country, stating that financial inclusion is a process, not just a point in time and space that we want to reach.

She added that developing content that speaks only to the already banked and mirroring the digital financial habits of those who are fully included and heavily banked, will not help to keep the newly onboarded in the system long-term.

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She stated: “While creating and delivering the content for financial inclusion, we need to have in mind the needs of its beneficiaries, the targeted end-users of the financial services who are currently underserved and the only sustainable way is that we join our forces and create the content – apps and services that will address the specific needs of a farmer in Benue, market women in Onitsha, the trader in Kano, the fisherman in Delta, and the woman selling ofada rice in Ogun State.”

Mracajac further noted that to drive the offline individuals and MSMEs from cash to cashless, from analogue to digital and from informal to formal, content creators need to focus on two major goals; one, to deliver relevant and on-point digital financial literacy content, educating people about the principles, ways, modules, and benefits of banking.

The second one, she stated, is needed for sustainable financial inclusion: delivery of digital banking services that are a reflection of the lifestyle of the currently unbanked and underserved population.

She called on all stakeholders within the financial ecosystem, including content creators to work collectively to develop and implement a digital content strategy for the unbanked to move the financial inclusion needle and ultimately advance the economy, society and improve the life of every Nigerian.

In his own keynote address, titled “Disruptive Innovation: Production and Distribution of Creative Content,” the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, represented by the Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited (NIGCOMSAT), Dr. Abimbola Alale, remarked that the quality of creatives and start-ups that Nigeria has produced is a testament to the potential of the ecosystem, and as such the ministry will continue to support the tech and creative entrepreneurs to play their part in developing Nigeria’s digital economy.

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The Tech Summit Ogun is an annual convergence of Tech disruptors, innovators, startups, organisations and technology enthusiasts in Ogun State, aimed at spurring technological innovation towards the digital transformation and technological advancement of Ogun State.

This year, the summit attracted over 2000 participants, mainly the youths and start-ups.

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FINANCE

Andela Announces $200m Series E Financing

The Series E financing values the global engineering network at $1.5 billion

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Jeremy Johnson, CEO and co-founder of Andela

Andela, the global network for remote engineering talent, has announced $200 million in Series E financing that values the company at $1.5 billion.

The round was led by Softbank Vision Fund 2* with participation from new investor Whale Rock and existing investors including Generation Investment Management, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, and Spark Capital.

Lydia Jett, Founding Partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers and one of the most respected consumer technology investors in the world, will join Andela’s Board of Directors.

Andela helps companies build remote engineering teams by providing them with access to the best software engineers in the world.

Launched in Africa in 2014, the Andela network today represents engineers from more than 80 countries and six continents.

Through Andela, thousands of engineers have been placed with leading technology companies including Github, Cloudflare and ViacomCBS.

“Andela has always been the high-quality option for those building remote engineering teams. Now that the world has come to embrace remote work, Andela has become the obvious choice for companies because we can find better talent, faster,” says Jeremy Johnson, CEO and co-founder of Andela.

“If you are a talented engineer, Andela opens up a world of possibilities for you, no matter where you are based.”

With a successful placement rate of 96%, Andela has mastered the ability to evaluate the technical skills and soft skills of engineers to match them to the teams they’ll be most successful in.

And with the new capital, the company will invest in developing products to simplify global hiring and make engineers’ lives easier.

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In addition, Andela will continue to expand its talent offering beyond software development to include new verticals such as design and data after launching Salesforce development earlier this year.

“Hiring remote technical talent is one of the top challenges that companies face today. We believe Andela will become the preferred talent partner for the world’s best companies as remote and hybrid work arrangements become the norm,” said Lydia Jett, Partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers.

“We are delighted to support Jeremy and the Andela team in their mission to connect these companies with brilliant engineers, and in the process, unlock human potential at scale.”

“This new round of funding enables Andela to strengthen our already extensive network of incredible talent in Africa and across the world, as we systematically connect the best software engineers with global opportunities”, says Agnes Muthoni, Director of the Andela Learning Community at Andela.

“Being backed by a diverse group of renowned and experienced investors is a testament to the growing importance of remote work, and how Andela is at the forefront of helping companies scale their engineering teams at a rapid pace”

A fully remote organisation with more than 300 employees around the world, Andela is hiring top talent across the board, particularly in Product, Engineering, and Growth.

 

 

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9PSB, Flutterwave Partner To Deepen Financial Inclusion In Nigeria

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L-R: Branka Mracajac, Chief Executive Officer, 9 Payment Service Bank (9PSB) and Olugbenga Agboola, Founder and CEO, Flutterwave at the strategic partnership MoU signing event between 9PSB and Flutterwave which held at 9PSB headquarters, Victoria Island, Lagos

9PSB, Nigeria’s very first payment service bank, and Flutterwave, Africa’s leading payments technology company, have entered into a partnership agreement that will help facilitate seamless financial services for Nigerians.

The partnership seeks to create a seamless payment ecosystem by aggregating and simplifying transactions for banking agents, merchants, and consumers, according to a joint statement issued by the two companies.

DigitalTimesNG understands that the partnership will also support the drive for economic growth through empowerment of the SME sector, entrepreneurs in FinTech and other industries, as well as contribute to the transformation of the informal sector to formal.

Chief Executive Officer, 9PSB, Branka Mracajac said during the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) held at the 9PSB head office in Lagos, that the collaboration between 9PSB and Flutterwave represents an important milestone in making banking services accessible to all.

According to her, the partnership supports both companies’ commitment to expand accessibility and serve as last-mile delivery of solutions to the unbanked, under-banked and underserved.

“9PSB, being focused on the presence in unserved, rural, and remote areas, has a unique business model that provides Agent Banking as a Service to our partners to drive financial inclusion.

“Expanding on our promise to deliver relevant products, with this partnership, our existing agents, partners, and customers will have a single point of entry to enjoy various products and services provided by Flutterwave,” Mracajac said.

With this partnership, Flutterwave and 9PSB are jointly launching a suite of products to enable other corporate entities, FinTech, technology and other industries to take advantage of the robust end-to-end system available for payments, collections, and transactions for both the banked and financially excluded Nigerians.

ALSO READ  Andela Announces $200m Series E Financing

Founder and CEO, Flutterwave, Olugbenga Agboola, while commenting on the choice of 9PSB as its settlement bank, noted that both companies share the same vision and are committed to one goal of powering seamless financial services.

“At Flutterwave, we believe in an ecosystem of shared value that transforms and impacts society. We are showcasing the power of strategic partnership and cross-sectoral collaboration in advancing Nigeria’s financial ecosystem,” he said.

A paper published by the CBN—‘Financial Inclusion in Nigeria; Issues and Challenges,’ admits that there is global consensus on the importance of financial inclusion due to its key role in bringing integrity and stability into an economy’s financial system as well as its role in fighting poverty in a sustainable manner.

The partnership between 9PSB and Flutterwave keys into various calls for interconnectivity and interoperability amongst stakeholders in the financial sector in accelerating the country’s financial inclusion drive to create prosperity and grow the economy.

 

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