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Tuesday 15th June, 2021

BANKING

Wema Bank Unveils Hackaholic 2.0 Bootcamp Winners

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Wema Bank’s Hackaholics 2.0, an acceleration aimed at helping startups scale and gain entrance into the market, came to an exciting end as the finalists were unveiled on Wednesday, May 5, 2021, at the Bank’s corporate head office in Marina, Lagos.

Themed, “Connecting Worlds” the Acceleration Program was a two-day virtual pitch which ran from October 30 – 31, 2020, for 20 participants across five industry pillars – Fintech, Agritech, Edutech, Gaming, and Healthtech, who qualified from a pool of over 100 entries received.

The Bank presented four startups comprising two people each with N2,187,500.00 startup fund. The winners emerged across each industry after a four-week Bootcamp under the supervision of a best-in-class acceleration curriculum delivered by seasoned faculty and tech specialists from GreenHouse Capital, official partners of the event.

Managing Director/CEO of Wema Bank, Ademola Adebise congratulated the winners and expressed satisfaction with the quality of competition and the entire process.

“We are happy to see the winners emerge and are positive that you guys will be the unicorns of tech solutions in the next couple of years,” he said.

“For us at Wema Bank, we will continue to support innovations and innovative ideas, support our youths, and support our women to thrive. We believe that is the way to go and significantly grow and support the economy,” Adebise said.

The winning start-ups include:

Fintech Category: Oladayo Awotukunbo of Plumpter, a Fintech brand that created a marketplace for secure payments to foreign parties and quick banking.

Gaming/Betting Category: Ernest Akinlola and Obayemi Okubajo of My Lotto Hub, a digital startup pioneering the aggregation of lottery operators and enabling lottery punters to manage all their operations in a single platform.

Agritech Category: Aderinola Amole and Olamide Oyinlola of FarmSquare, a brand that focuses on using the e-commerce model to simplify the demand and supply of Agricultural inputs in Nigeria.

Healthtech Category: Uche Udekwe and Joy Chioma of Natal Cares, a startup with a product that optimizes the healthcare value chain to reduce the high mortality rate for pregnant women and children.

Speaking at the event, Chief Financial Officer, Wema Bank, Tunde Mabawonku, reinforced the internal and external growth integration stance of the bank saying, “We realized very early that financial service delivery has moved beyond bricks and mortar physical interactions, hence, at Wema Bank, we repositioned internally, invested strategically and heavily in technology to drive Digital Optimization of our services.”

“Second, we realized we can’t innovate all from within, we need to drive innovation from outside. We then created “Hackaholics” the Wema Bank Hackathon. The idea is to bring fresh minds, fresh ideas, fresh insights, into solving day-to-day societal problems leveraging technology. We are also working with third-party resource providers we can invest in to grow the solutions for societal impact”. Mabawonku added.

Chief Digital Officer, Wema Bank, Segun Adeniyi emphasized the importance of the Bank’s sustainability footprints. “We aim this initiative at deepening the impact of innovation in the ecosystem and create an opportunity to drive that ecosystem. There is a plethora of start-ups and innovators out there who don’t have the right environment to upscale those ideas into commercial value.”

“What we have done is giving some seed to them in funding, and more importantly, we have given them advisory. We have helped them to look at the ideas they have, flesh them into commercial value, help them articulate the problem, identify unique areas where and how they can solve those problems, and identify their target market.”

The winning startups all expressed gratitude to Wema Bank for the seed fund and commended the bank for the initiative. They said the Hackathon Bootcamp has broadened their horizon. They expressed that the seed funding from Wema Bank will help to upscale their businesses to the desired place.

“For us at Wema Bank, this is not just CSR. It is creative self-disruption. We are attuned to what is going on in the ecosystem, we are keen to be part of it, we are enthusiastic about sharing our own experiences with the start-ups. It is part of why we stay vibrant and relevant as an organization,” Adeniyi concludes.

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BANKING

Access Bank Officially Launches Operations In South Africa

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Mr. Herbert Wigwe, CEO, Access Bank Plc

Access Bank Plc officially launched in South Africa on Monday and took another step in furthering its footprint across the African continent.

Access Bank chief executive Herbert Wigwe said in a statement that the Southern African Development Community represented the strongest economy in Africa, according to a report in IOL.

The Nigeria-listed Access Bank is a leading full-service commercial bank operating through a network of more than 600 branches and service outlets, spanning three continents, 12 countries and 31 million customers.

It employs 28,000 people in its operations in Nigeria and has subsidiaries in sub-Saharan Africa and the UK, with a branch in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and representative offices in China, Lebanon and India.

Following a merger with Diamond Bank in March 2019, Access Bank, with more than 900,000 shareholders, became one of Africa’s largest retail banks by retail customer base.

Wigwe said the opening in South Africa meant Access Bank SA was now firmly seated in one of the principal geographical areas apart from Nigeria, in terms of the size of the economy.

Highlighting Access Bank’s presence in Zambia, he said the opening of the South African subsidiary cemented the bank’s commitment to sub-Saharan Africa as a portal for banking opportunities across the continent.

Access Bank SA chief executive, Bennie van Rooy said Monday was “an exciting event for the South African banking industry”, and the provision of sustainable support to existing customers while appealing to new clients with a business presence across Africa.

“As part of the robust Access Bank family, the South African operations look forward to contributing meaningfully to the achievements and ambitions of the group. In offering a full suite of financial service products to a market we understand in-depth, Access Bank SA is delighted to grow the family footprint.”

Wigwe said the group’s focus was on building relationships, as a partner in businesses and in the communities it served. “It’s vital that our banking solutions give clients the advantage they need to grow sustainably, with access to smart solutions that help them reach greater goals.”

“With its transactional account and online banking, commercial and asset finance, offshore investments and foreign exchange requirements or deposit solutions, Access Bank put the power of choice in clients’ hands,” he said.

“We look forward to the opportunities that present themselves with opening doors for individuals and businesses, and growing possibilities as we go,” said Wigwe.

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BANKING

Bank Wars: Fidelity, Sterling Bank Thrash Union Bank At Tech Experience Centre

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Action in the inaugural edition of Bank Wars, a FIFA 21 Gaming competition for leading Nigerian banks, got underway in Group B on Saturday, May 15, 2021, as Sterling Bank and Fidelity thrashed rivals, Union Bank, to take charge of proceedings in the group.

Bank Wars is sponsored by the foremost Original Equipment Manufacturer, Samsung.

The event, hosted by the Tech Experience Centre, Africa’s cutting-edge technology and lifestyle hub located at Yudala Heights, 13 Idowu Martins Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, witnessed excitement on Saturday as participating banks battled hard for precious points.

In the day’s opening match, Sterling Bank thrashed Union Bank 10-7. The game, which kicked off by 1 pm, saw the Sterling Bank representative, Israel Emoitologa, a Software engineer dominate his Union Bank counterpart, Oluwaseyi Ayoade, a Graphics designer, to grab all three points at stake.

Meanwhile, the second game between Fidelity Bank and Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) did not hold, as GTB failed to show up, thereby resulting in a walkover, with three points and three goals awarded to Fidelity. The same applied to Sterling Bank who were expected to play GTB in the day’s third game.

Nevertheless, the action returned to the screen for eager fans in the final game of the day, as Fidelity Bank pipped Union Bank 3-2, with Nathan Goodluck, a Media Executive, running the show for the victorious side.

The day’s proceedings ended with Fidelity and Sterling Bank occupying the joint top position in Group B, with six points apiece. However, Sterling Bank has a better goal difference, making them outright group leaders.

Union Bank, which lost its first two matches and GTB, which failed to show up for their encounters, occupy the third and final position respectively.

A few attendees at the event suggested that GTB may have been worried by the potential fire-power of the other teams in the group, thereby opting to beat a tactical retreat in order to avoid heavy defeats.

Earlier, Bank Wars had kicked off on Saturday, May 8 with goals-filled matches featuring the teams in Group A.

Access Bank got the ball rolling on the day with a 7-2 drubbing of First City Monument Bank (FCMB). In the second game, Standard Chartered Bank pipped Zenith Bank 4-3.

Taking to the FIFA 21 pitch in the third match in Group A, Access Bank cemented its place as one of the early favourites with an impressive 11-2 thrashing of Zenith Bank, while FCMB made up for its initial loss to Access Bank by beating Standard Chartered Bank 7-4.

The final round of group matches is scheduled for Saturday, May 22, 2021.

Access Bank which occupies the leadership position in Group A with six points, will be looking to confirm its place in the semi-finals as group leaders, as it takes on Standard Chartered Bank in the day’s first game by 1 pm.

Standard Chartered are third on three points and a win may see them draw level with Access Bank. In the day’s second game, fellow Group A contenders, First City Monument Bank (FCMB) will trade tackles with bottom side, Zenith Bank by 1:30 pm. A win for FCMB, who are second with three points, will also likely take them to the top of the group and on the verge of qualification, depending on how the first match pans out.

Also, hostilities in Group B will come to a head-on Saturday in a top-of-the-table clash between Sterling Bank and Fidelity Bank. Both sides have six points and excitement is bound to hit fever-pitch in what is potentially a winner takes all tie, with the victors guaranteed a place in the semi-finals. The match kicks off at 2 pm.

In the day’s final game, GTB will face off against Union Bank, with both sides looking to preserve their dignity after failing to record any points on the board so far.

Bank Wars is expected to run for five Saturdays until June 5, 2021, with winners of the FIFA 21 Gaming competition expected to smile home with some mouth-watering prizes, courtesy of Samsung.

A Samsung 55-inch TV awaits the first prize winner while the runner-up will go home with a massive Samsung Refrigerator.

Also, the third-best team will claim a Samsung Washing Machine. In addition, there are prizes for individual representatives of the competing teams while the best goal of the competition (to be determined by votes) will fetch the scorer a Samsung 49-inch TV.

 

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BANKING

Bank Wars: Access Bank, Standard Chartered, FCMB Off To Winning Start

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Visitors to the Tech Experience Centre, Africa’s cutting-edge technology and lifestyle hub on Saturday, May 8, 2021, were treated to exciting, high-scoring matches on the opening day of Bank Wars, a FIFA 21 Gaming competition featuring leading Nigerian banks.

Sponsored by Samsung, a foremost Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), Banks Wars seeks to crown the best side among the competing banks for the FIFA 21 tourney.

The first day of the event, hosted at the Tech Experience Centre, saw a number of excited spectators converge on the impressive building located at Yudala Heights, 13A Idowu Martins Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, to witness the banks in action.

As expected, the competing teams did not disappoint, serving up goals-filled matches to the delight of attendees as hostilities in Group A got underway.

Access Bank got the ball rolling on the day with a 7-2 drubbing of First City Monument Bank (FCMB).

The match, which was played at 1 pm, saw Olabamaji Emmanuel Ojo, an Assistant Banking Officer dominate his opponent, Taiwo Oluwafemi of FCMB’s Brand Management Unit to claim all three points at stake.

In the second game, Standard Chartered Bank pipped Zenith Bank 4-3. Representing the victorious team was Bajeh Israel, a Wealth Management Analyst, while Zenith Bank was represented by Abdulwahab Emmanuel, a Relationship Manager.

Taking to the FIFA 21 pitch in the third match in Group A, Access Bank cemented its place as one of the early favourites with an impressive 11-2 thrashing of Zenith Bank, while FCMB made up for its initial loss to Access Bank by beating Standard Chartered Bank 7-4.

From the results on the first day of the competition, Access Bank occupies the leadership position in Group A with six points, followed by FCMB and Standard Chartered Bank with three points each. Zenith Bank brings up the rear, with no point to its name after the first round of matches.

Meanwhile, all eyes will be on the quartet of Sterling Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB), Union Bank and Fidelity Bank in Group B on Saturday, May 15, 2021, which is billed as the second matchday of the competition.

In the day’s opening match, Sterling Bank will trade tackles with Union Bank by 1 pm.

Also, GTB and Fidelity Bank will do battle in the second game by 1:30 pm while Sterling Bank and GTB will contest the third game by 2 pm. The day’s action in Group B will come to a close when Fidelity Bank and Union Bank lock horns. The match is scheduled to kick off by 2:30 pm.

Bank Wars is expected to run for five Saturdays until June 5, 2021, with winners of the FIFA 21 Gaming competition expected to smile home with some mouth-watering prizes, courtesy of Samsung.

A Samsung 55-inch TV awaits the first prize winner while the runner-up will go home with a massive Samsung Refrigerator.

Also, the third-best team will claim a Samsung Washing Machine. In addition, there are prizes for individual representatives of the competing teams while the best goal of the competition (to be determined by votes) will fetch the scorer a Samsung 49-inch TV.

 

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