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Ecobank, Mastercard Score High in Innovative Banking

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Ecobank, Mastercard Score High in Innovative Banking

Ecobank, Mastercard Score High in Innovative Banking

By Dipo Olowookere

For their drive in innovative banking in Africa, two leaders in their sectors, Ecobank Group and MasterCard, have been honoured at the 2017 African Banker Awards.

Both firms were announced as winners of the ‘Innovation in Banking’ award category for ground breaking partnership focused on reaching 100 million new customers in Africa with Masterpass QR by 2020.

Recall that the landmark deal between both organisations was signed in 2016 and focused on financially empowering 100 million new customers in Africa by 2020, through access to the Ecobank Mobile App supported by Masterpass QR.

The award ceremony was held on May 23 under the patronage of the African Development Bank, and is the continent’s banking and finance sector’s most prestigious event in recognising innovation and excellence in the industry.

Commenting on the development, the Group Executive in charge of Consumer Banking at Ecobank, Mr Patrick Akinwuntan, stated that, “Millions of Africans already hold the transformative power of technology in their hands with their mobile phones – and Ecobank is leveraging the mobile platform to introduce solutions that truly meet the financial, payments and collection needs of customers and owners of small and micro businesses in Africa.”

He noted that, “It is for that reason that we partnered with MasterCard to deliver a quick, convenient, secure and above all, affordable payments solution that we have integrated into our mobile banking platform to better serve our customers and deliver on financial inclusion in Africa. This win at the African Banker Awards is therefore a recognition that we are moving in the right direction.”

The introduction of pioneering solutions that meet the needs of all Africans and deliver higher levels of economic involvement is a core differentiator of leading financial solutions. MasterCard in partnership with Ecobank work to illustrate their continued commitment to facilitating financial inclusion and ensuring all Africans can meet their full potential.

Also commenting, the Vice President and Area Business Head, West Africa, MasterCard, Omokehinde Adebanjo, remarked that, “We are committed to delivering solutions that build inclusive ecosystems and ultimately foster the move to a cashless society.

“Our partnership with Ecobank has resulted in Masterpass QR being rolled out across Africa in 33 markets, delivering a more secure and convenient way for merchants to accept payments and for consumers to pay for goods and services.”

Masterpass QR is ground-breaking in that it lets customers pay for goods and services using their smart or feature mobile phones, while delivering efficient and cost effective digital payment solutions to micro, small and medium size enterprises on the continent.

These businesses are core to driving growth and development in Africa, and have traditionally been held back by the high installation and running costs of point-of-sale infrastructure.

The introduction of the Ecobank mobile banking app has resulted in more Africans gaining access to financial tools than ever before. Empowered with easier access to payment solutions such as Masterpass QR means that consumers and business owners alike are now able to transact more securely.

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan. Mr Olowookere can be reached via dipo.olowookere@businesspost.ng

Banking

ICPC Arrests Sterling Bank Managers for Hoarding N258m New Notes

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Sterling Bank managers N258m

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

Two Sterling Bank managers in Abuja have been apprehended by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).

A statement from the ICPC disclosed that its operatives arrested the Regional and Service Managers of the financial institution last Friday for hoarding N258 million in the bank’s vault.

The new Naira notes were given to Sterling Bank by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to disbursement to customers to ease the tension caused by Naira scarcity.

“As part of ongoing efforts at ensuring that commercial banks comply with the CBN’s directive on the distribution of the redesigned Naira notes, operatives of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) last Friday discovered the sum of N258 million stashed in the vault of Sterling Bank in Abuja.

“This discovery followed one of the commission’s operations at ensuring that commercial banks and other interest groups do not flout the apex bank’s directive.

“When the ICPC monitoring team visited the bank and discovered the stashed new Naira notes in the bank’s vault, it was informed that the cash was the remnant of what the CBN had given the bank for onward distribution to its branches.

“The team, however, found out that only the sum of N5 million each was distributed to their various branches.

“Both the Regional and Service Managers were arrested and later granted administrative bail while the investigation continues,” the statement issued by the spokesperson of the ICPC, Mrs Azuka Ogugua, stated.

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Banking

Wema Bank Gives Nigerians Option to Buy New Samsung Diamond Series on Credit

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ALAT new Samsung Diamond Series

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

Nigerians intending to purchase the new Samsung Diamond Series phones but are short of funds can now fulfil their fantasy through Wema Bank Plc.

The financial institution, through its digital banking arm, Wema by ALAT, has partnered with the South Korean manufacturing giant, Samsung Electric Industries, to sell smartphones to customers in Nigeria.

According to the Chief Digital Officer of Wema Bank, Mr Olusegun Adeniyi, prospective buyers can make a partial payment or buy on credit for any of the models in the series.

“This partnership between ALAT and Samsung will simplify the acquisition of high-end gadgets, provide customers with multiple payment options, and simplify logistics,” he stated.

“Our current and prospective customers who desire to own any of the models of the new Samsung Diamond Series phones can pre-order their choice on ALAT.

“They can also choose their preferred pick-up locations, and their orders will be delivered to their preferred destination,” he explained.

Additionally, Mr Adeniyi encouraged prospective buyers to take advantage of the partnership’s partial payment and credit options.

“Customers can either make full payment or pay a 30 per cent equity contribution from their selected account, after which the devices can be picked up at the preferred locations selected on their Pre-Order Forms.

“Individuals who wish to buy on credit can do so through the device loan feature on ALAT.” The banker added.

The bank noted that while customers will be notified by email or phone call through one of their contact agents when their order is delivered to their preferred locations, those who want to track the status of their orders can do so via telephone at 07000PURPLE or 08039003700, or via WhatsApp chat at 09044411010.

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Banking

Naira Scarcity: CIBN Urges Customers to Stop Attacks on Banking Facilities

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attacks on banking facilities

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

The professional body for bankers in the country, the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), has appealed to citizens of the nation to be patient and remain calm over the hardship caused by the scarcity of new Naira notes in the financial system.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) changed the N200, N500, and N1,000 denominations and asked residents of the country to return the old currency notes.

Since the apex bank extended the deadline of the currency swap on January 29, 2023, to February 10, 2023, Nigerians have been made to spend almost the whole day withdrawing about N20,000, and in some cases, ATMs are unable to dispense cash to customers, fanning outrage among the people, who are already frustrated by the effect of the Naira redesign policy.

Their anger further rose after reports of security officials arresting bank managers who hoarded the new notes and failed to load their ATM terminals for customers to withdraw cash, resulting in attacks on banking facilities.

Worried by this, the CIBN issued a statement on Tuesday to appeal to the banking public to exercise patience, promising that efforts are being made by stakeholders to address the issue.

In the statement signed by the Registrar/Chief Executive of CIBN, Mr Akin Morakinyo, the group expressed sympathy “with the banking public on the difficulties encountered in accessing the new Naira notes which heightened tension and, in some cases, provoked acts of violence at different customer touchpoints.”

“Whilst we understand the plight of bank customers, we passionately appeal for calm and understanding as the regulator, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and the operators, the banks, are working assiduously to bring the situation under control.

“Relevant stakeholders within the ecosystem are being engaged with a view to addressing the unintended consequences of the laudable Naira redesign policy.

“To this end, we beseech the general public to eschew any act capable of exacerbating the current situation and exercise restraint while we enjoin all our members to carry on their duties with utmost professionalism and diligence.

“The Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, the umbrella professional body for banks and bankers, is confident that this phase will pass with the cooperation of all and sundry, and our country Nigeria will come out of this stronger,” it further said.

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