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April 8, 2024

On the web

FG OF Nigeria Unveil Plans to Launch a New National Identity Card with Payment & Social Service Delivery Capabilities

National Identity Management Commission

"The Federal Government of Nigeria, through the National Identity Management Commission in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Nigeria Inter-bank Settlement System, has launched an innovative identity solution with payment functionality for all types of social and financial services to be powered by AfriGO, a National domestic card scheme."

February 8, 2024

On the web

December 21, 2023

On the wires

October 27, 2023

On the web

August 15, 2023

On the web

June 9, 2023

On the web

January 27, 2023

On the web

Nigeria Launches Domestic Card Scheme to Boost Cashless Economy


Nigeria’s central bank has launched a domestic card scheme to rival foreign cards like Mastercard and Visa, hoping to enhance its drive to make Africa’s biggest economy a cashless society and save the country foreign transaction fees. The announcement on Thursday by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, Godwin Emefiele, follows its launch of Africa’s first digital currency, the e-naira, in October 2021.

January 23, 2023

On the web

Can a Save-to-Pay-Later Model Forestall the Pitfalls of Buy Now, Pay Later in Nigeria?

Techpoint Africa

Once in a while, a new technology comes along that completely upends an entire industry. Other times, old industries are reimagined using technology. Buy now, pay later’s recent rise certainly belongs to the latter. For many Nigerians growing up in low or middle-income households, buying a product from merchants with a promise to pay later, usually at the end of the month when salaries are paid, is not entirely a foreign concept.

January 10, 2023

On the web

Nigeria to Establish a Regulatory Framework for Stablecoins and ICOs


"The federal government of Nigeria is set to create a legal framework for stablecoins and ICO -Initial coin offerings. The importance of having a legal framework for stablecoins is highlighted in a new strategy paper released by the Central Bank of Nigeria. In the report headlined “Nigeria Payments System Vision 2025”, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) seeks to develop a regulatory framework for the possible incorporation of a stablecoin. The report highlights the need to provide a framework considering that stablecoins are a possible successful payment scheme in the country."

December 7, 2022

On the web

Nigeria Caps ATM Withdrawals at $225 Weekly to Promote CBDC


“Nigeria is attempting to push the usage of its central bank digital currency eNaira by capping the amount users can withdraw from ATMs at $45 per day and $225 per week. If users or businesses exceed that amount, they have to pay a 5% or 10% fee respectively, according to a report at Coin Telegraph. The government of Nigeria has struggled to get citizens to adopt the ENaira since its introduction on Oct. 25, 2021. Currently less than 0.5% of the population has used the currency. Previously, the maximum daily withdrawal amounts were $338 for individuals and $1,128 for businesses. “Customers should be encouraged to use alternative channels (Internet banking, mobile banking apps, USSD, cards/POS, eNaira etc.) to conduct their banking transactions,” Haruna Mustafa, director of banking supervision, Nigeria, told the news outlet.”

October 25, 2022

On the web

eNaira Charting the Course for Financial Inclusion on its One-Year Anniversary

PR Newswire

“Bitt joins the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in celebrating the one-year anniversary of the eNaira. Since its launch on 25 October 2021, citizens and residents of Nigeria were the first on the continent of Africa to be able to use a legal tender digital currency for their daily financial transactions.  Bitt and the CBN continue to work diligently to roll-out eNaira updates in adherence with the CBN’s published roadmap. The implementation plan identifies three phases. The project roll-out is currently in phase two. In addition to onboarding banked customers and merchants, and integrating and optimizing core banking systems to facilitate transactions throughout the existing eNaira ecosystem, other major achievements include:    Unbanked customer onboarding and transactions via USSD ; Integrations with the National Payment Service for QR functionality and wholesale funds transfer (RTGS) ; Onboarding of IMTOs and integration of DCMS to exchange Naira;  Multi-lingual support for mobile applications and USSD SMS Integration with CBN’s; SMS gateway service Security hardening . The next phases will include….”

October 19, 2022

On the web

BNPL: MTN Signs with Intelligra to Sell Phones on Credit to Nigerians


“Africa has the youngest population in the world. Yet, access to the internet remains a huge problem for millions of people on the continent. While this could be attributed to the region’s high cost of internet access, the lack of funds to purchase modern, internet-enabled phones poses a tougher challenge to many Africans.  MTN, one of Nigeria’s leading telecommunication companies, is now attempting to solve this problem. Through its latest partnership with Intelligra, a pioneering smartphone financing company in Nigeria, the telco is providing its customers access to modern, internet-enabled phones through a flexible buy-now-pay-later scheme.  This buy-now-pay-later scheme enables existing MTN customers to obtain smartphones and pay the cost within 6-12 months. According to MTN, the overarching purpose of pioneering a telco-led BNPL product in Nigeria goes beyond profit-making. Their goal is to connect more Nigerians to the internet and create a Nigeria where people are not restricted from achieving their dreams due to a lack of internet access.”

August 30, 2022

On the web

PalmPay Hits 10 Million User Milestone in Nigeria

PR Newswire

“PalmPay, a fintech innovator aiming to make digital payment more accessible and flexible, announced that it has reached 10 million users in Nigeria. This represents a doubling in its user base within just six months and puts its customer numbers in the same league as major institutions only 3 years after the company launched in the market. The fintech, which operates under a Mobile Money Operator license from the Central Bank of Nigeria, has gained significant traction with its payment’s app and nationwide agency banking network. Its proposition of instant financial account creation, fee-free bank transfers and cashback rewards on airtime and bill payments has appealed to Millennial and Gen-Z consumers, who are looking for more affordable banking options and prefer the convenience of a digital-first service.”

June 14, 2022

On the web

Nigeria’s Mobile Money Transactions Surge by Over 3000% in the First four Months of 2022

Business Insider Africa

“The value of mobile money transactions in Nigeria increased by 3,454.46 per cent (N4.86tn) in the first four months of 2022 from (N136.85bn) in the corresponding period of 2019, as citizens continue to embrace digital payments as part of a measure to contain the spread of Covid-19. According to data provided by the Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS), the number of telecommunication subscribers in the nation recorded a 13.98 per cent jump to (201.31 million) in the corresponding month of 2022 from (176.62 million) in April 2019. Similarly, the report noted that mobile devices drove payment in 2020, accounting for 43 per cent of total transactions in 2020, with 35 per cent of transactions carried out via USSD and 78 per cent of total transfer transactions.”

April 11, 2022

On the web

Nigeria Grants MTN Licence for Mobile Money Banking Service


“The Central Bank of Nigeria has approved the licence for MTN’s Mobile Money (MoMo) Payment Service Bank in the country, extending its services to wider banking operations, it was announced on Monday. Mobile money is a growing contributor to MTN Nigeria’s income, and the new banking licence would allow the company to explore growth opportunities presented by the country’s unbanked population. MTN Group CEO Ralph Mupita said granting the final approval to commence the operations of MoMo bank was an “important milestone” for the company’s  Ambition 2025 strategy unveiled a year ago. Nigeria, the continent’s populous nation, is MTN’s largest market.”

October 18, 2021

On the web

Nigeria’s Central Bank Is Tightening Control of Its Identity Database to Check Fraud Better


“Online payments reached record heights in Nigeria in the third quarter of 2020, when the value of transactions increased to $116 billion from $68.3 billion in the same period in 2019. But this welcome jump came with a staggering increase in financial fraud. Between January and September 2020, fraudsters made over 46,000 attempts on customer accounts, three times the level for the same period the year before. 91% of those attempts succeeded. In the 9 months between January and September 2020, fraudsters stole 5 billion naira ($12 million) from customer accounts (pdf), the equivalent of 173,000 Nigerian workers’ minimum wage for a month.”

October 15, 2021

On the web

Nigeria’s Flutterwave in Talks to Triple Valuation to $3 Billion


Flutterwave Inc. , a Nigerian payments firm, is seeking fresh funding at a valuation of $3 billion or more, a figure that would roughly triple its last valuation, according to people with knowledge of the matter…Also in March, Flutterwave said it will collaborate with PayPal Holdings Inc. to enable the U.S. giant’s global customers to pay African merchants using Flutterwave’s platform. The startup enables the creation of virtual Mastercard and Visa cards, among other payments services, according to its website.”

August 16, 2021

On the web

Nigeria Updates Mobile Money Operator Guidelines

Crowdfund Insider

“Nigerian banking regulators have released new guidelines governing the services offered by the country’s mobile money operators (MMO). It is the first update in six years and is meant to address the sweeping changes seen since 2015. Ibrahim Moshood, an associate with Centurion Law Group , said the rules govern two types of operations, the bank-led ones that either operate alone or with other banks, and the non-bank organizations who are licensed to complete MMO services. These entities also use deposit money banks and settlement banks.”

July 12, 2021

On the web

CBN steps up action to regulate mobile money services


“The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has released Regulatory Guidelines and Framework for Mobile Money Services in the country to create an enabling environment for orderly introduction and management of the services. The guidelines stated that the  Mobile Money Operators (MMOs) shall not carry out the following activities: Grant any form of loans, advances and guarantees (directly or indirectly); Accept foreign currency deposits; Deal in the foreign exchange market except as prescribed in Section 4.1 (ii & iii) of the extant Guidelines for Licensing and Regulation of Payment Service Banks in Nigeria; Insurance underwriting;  Accept any closed scheme electronic value (e.g. airtime) as a form of deposit or payment; Establish any subsidiary; Undertake any other transaction which is not prescribed by these Guidelines; And any other activities that may be prohibited by the CBN.”

July 2, 2021

On the web

Tiger Global Leads $42M Series B in Nigerian Credit-led Neobank FairMoney


“Neobanks have led the charge as regards venture capital funding for consumer fintech startups. But while they have collectively dominated the fintech space, they don’t operate a monolithic model. There are five distinct models, and the one adopted by Nubank, the $30 billion behemoth , is the credit-led model. Neobanks operating this model start by offering credit via cards or on an app and subsequently offer bank accounts as a gateway to other services. Nigerian fintech startup FairMoney operates this model. Today, it is announcing a $42 million Series B raise to diversify its offerings and expand to “become the financial hub for its users.””

June 14, 2021

On the web

Nigerian Payments App Paga May Be Africa’s Next Unicorn


“Nigeria’s biggest mobile payments company is vying to become Africa’s next unicorn, and its ambitions now stretch beyond the continent. Paga, whose backers include U.S. billionaire investor Tim Draper and former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. economist Jim O’Neill, boasts 17 million unique users including tech entrepreneurs, businesses and individuals in Africa’s most populous nation. Modeled after PayPal, it processed $2.3 billion worth of transactions in 2020 and $8 billion during the past four years, according to Tayo Oviosu, the company’s chief executive officer who founded it in 2009. Paga could reach a valuation of at least $1 billion “in the next year or two,” Oviosu said in an interview.”

May 27, 2021

On the web

African Fintech OPay Is Reportedly Raising $400M at Over $1.5B Valuation


“Chinese-backed and Africa-focused fintech platform OPay is in talks to raise up to $400 million, The Information reported today. The fundraising is coming two years after OPay announced two funding rounds in 2019 — $50 million in June and a $120 million Series B in November…In 2018, Opera, popularly known for its internet search engine and browser, launched the OPay mobile money platform in Lagos. It didn’t take long for the company to expand aggressively within the city using ORide, a now-defunct ride-hailing service, as an entry point to the array of services it wanted to offer.”

May 24, 2021

On the web

Nigeria’s Mono Raises Millions to Power the Internet Economy in Africa


“In February, Nigerian fintech startup Mono announced its acceptance into Y Combinator and, at the time, it wanted to build the Plaid for Africa. Three months later, the startup has a different mission: to power the internet economy in Africa and has closed $2 million in seed investment towards that goal…In a region where more than half of the population is either unbanked or underbanked , open finance players like Mono are trying to improve financial inclusion and connectivity on the continent. Open finance thrives on the notion that access to a financial ecosystem via open APIs and new routes to move money, access financial information and make borrowing decisions reduces the barriers and costs of entry for the underbanked.”

April 21, 2021

On the web

Nigerian Fintech Okra Raises $3.5M Backed by Accenture Ventures and Susa Ventures


“Since 2019, Plaid-esque companies, but with different twists to their offerings, have emerged to solve these issues. Today, Nigeria’s Okra , arguably the first to gain mainstream attention, is announcing that it has closed a seed round of $3.5 million…Okra likes to describe itself as an API “super-connector” that creates a secure portal and process to exchange real-time financial information between customers, applications and banks.”

April 20, 2021

On the web

Nigeria’s $155b E-transactions

Techpoint Africa

“Nigeria continued to witness steady growth in electronic transactions in the first quarter of 2021. According to the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) , Nigeria processed ₦58.8 trillion ($155 billion) worth of electronic transactions between January and March 2021. Launched in 2011, the NIBSS is a consortium of all Nigeria’s licensed banks and the Central Bank of Nigeria.”

March 19, 2021

On the web

Backed by YC, Vendease Is Building Amazon Prime for Restaurants in Africa


“For small and mid-sized restaurants in Nigeria and most of Africa, food procurement can be a complex process to manage. The system is such that a business can easily run out of money or have considerable savings. Most restaurants don’t have access to deal directly with farms to get better deals because they lack the staffing to chase them. Besides, they also don’t have the aggregation pull as single entities to directly get good value from the farms. Nigerian startup Vendease solves this problem by building a marketplace that allows restaurants to buy directly from farms and food manufacturers.”

March 15, 2021

On the web

Nigerians Turn to Stablecoins for Protection Against Inflation – CoinDesk


“Okeke Leticia Chigozie, a 28-year-old Nigerian logistics worker, dreams of opening her own shoe store in Nigeria. Having no credit history, she does not qualify for a bank loan to fund her enterprise. Instead, she joined a traditional savings group in her community, sometimes called esusu. These savings circles allow those without access to traditional banking services to save money and acquire loans or credit.  The problem is that in inflationary countries like Nigeria and Zimbabwe, the value of savings could plummet. Stablecoins – cryptocurrencies pegged to a strong fiat currency like the U.S. dollar or a basket of assets to keep their prices stable – could be a solution to Leticia’s problem.”

March 11, 2021

On the wires

Epos Now Launches Major Push Into Nigeria

“Epos Now, a global software and payments technology company, supporting over 35,000 retail and hospitality locations across 71 countries, has launched its cloud point of sale (POS) solution in Nigeria , making its first entry into the African market…Nigeria has been chosen as the launchpad for Epos Now’s entry into Africa due to its status as a rapidly expanding market for fintech and payment technology. Nigeria has recently established itself as the primary location from which to launch wider expansions into Africa, and Epos Now will be looking to satisfy a growing demand for affordable point of sale and merchant services technology in sub-Saharan Africa. In preparation for the expansion, Epos Now has partnered with Epos Solutions Nigeria, a leading provider of point of sale technology in the country.”

February 24, 2021

On the web

Open Banking Is Coming to Nigeria


“Last week, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) released draft regulations for the open banking framework in Nigeria. It’s in line with the prediction by Stears Business that conversations around open banking regulations would move forward in Nigeria in 2021. What’s all the fuss about? Open banking, often described as the future of banking, is the idea that traditional banks should share the transaction data of customers with fintechs, challenger banks and other third parties. It sounds simple but the implications are far-reaching. With shared transactional data, customers can compare banking services easily and decide between banks.”

February 1, 2021

On the web

Nigerian Digital Bank Carbon Hit $240M in Payments Processed Last Year, up 89% From 2019


“In 2018, Carbon , a Nigerian fintech startup, made its financials public for the first time. Although typical for foreign private startups, it’s almost an anomaly in Africa. There have been rare cases in the past, for instance, when Rocket Internet had to include Jumia’s financials in its yearly reports after going public. At the time, the German investment outfit was a founding shareholder in the African-based unicorn.”

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