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Standard Bank Chooses Flutterwave to Drive Digital Transformation

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Standard Bank green bond

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

Africa’s leading payments technology company, Flutterwave, has been chosen to drive the digital transformation efforts of Standard Bank Group, the continent’s largest bank by assets.

With this development, Flutterwave will enhance digital payments experiences for the lender’s customers in Nigeria, Zambia, Tanzania, Uganda, Ghana, Mauritius, Cote D’Ivoire and Malawi.

A statement from the bank said both parties are collaborating to build e-commerce, card issuing, payments, collections, USSD, lending, and buy-now-pay-later capabilities for millions of Africans.

The integration will help customers including individuals, SMEs, large companies and institutions to fully leverage the power of digital payments and e-commerce to grow their businesses.

The COVID-19 crisis has changed how people buy and sell across Africa – enabling a massive shift to digital payments and e-commerce.

According to Statista, digital responses were key to improving services within several sectors such as business, healthcare and education. A shift to digital payments accounted for 33 per cent of all COVID-19 responses by governments and the private sector of Sub-Saharan African countries in 2020.

Institutions, businesses and individuals continue to think of ways to reach their customers using digital channels. With this partnership, Standard Bank will provide agile tech solutions to its customers to help them grow their businesses online and offline. This partnership denotes the unique collaborative relationship that exists between banks and fintechs across Africa where the customers’ needs and satisfaction take utmost priority.

Commenting on the news, Olugbenga GB Agboola, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Flutterwave said: “We are proud that Flutterwave’s white-label services power digital efforts for top banks in Africa.

“Our partnership with Standard Bank demonstrates that fintechs and banks are not competitors but trusted partners with the key focus being the customer.

“We plan to grow financial and digital inclusion through this partnership and in the long run, we expect to generate more jobs in the digital economy and enable rapid business growth across the continent.”

On his part, the CEO of Stanbic IBTC Holdings, Mr Demola Sogunle, reinforced the importance of the partnership to Stanbic IBTC’s customers.

“In its over three decades of existence, Stanbic IBTC has a rich heritage of serving customers and contributing to the growth of the Nigerian economy. At Stanbic IBTC, we see Nigeria as our home and we drive her growth.

“The selection of Flutterwave as our digital transformation partner reflects our resolve to deliver real impact and opportunities to our various customers. It is also a reflection of our mission to adopt digital strategies to improve our services and processes, being an innovation-driven financial institution,” he said.

Also speaking during the announcement, Eric Fajemisin, Head, Wholesale Clients, Stanbic IBTC Bank said: “One of the mandates on our evolution to a client segment-led organisation is to partner with trusted partners in our ecosystem to meet our clients’ needs.

“This partnership with Flutterwave is one that gives credence to that and enables us to connect with our clients via digital platforms further reiterating our well-earned status as their partner as they also transform within their businesses.”

Commenting on the benefits of the Flutterwave partnership to the financial institution’s customers, Olu Delano, Head, Client Coverage, Stanbic IBTC Bank, stated: “Our collaboration with Flutterwave is a testament to a renewed drive and focus on our future-ready transformation ambition.

“With our clients as the focus and centre of this partnership, we are building a platform and payment system to support our customers and their targeted ecosystem across Africa, ultimately delivering exceptional service and enhancing customer experience.”

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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Banking

Airtel’s Smartcash Payment Service Bank Begins Operations in Nigeria

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Smartcash Payment Service Bank

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

The payment service bank of Airtel Africa Plc, Smartcash, has commenced operations in Nigeria with the launch of the company’s wholly-owned subsidiary at an event held in Lagos on Thursday.

The leading provider of telecommunications and mobile money services, which trades its shares on the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited, launched the PSB arm at the Eko Hotels and Suites with several personalities in attendance.

Some of the bigwigs at the event were the Group CEO of Airtel Africa, Mr Segun Ogunsanya; the Chairman of Smartcash PSB Ltd, Mr Kingsley Umadia; the Lagos State Commissioner for Finance, Mr Rabiu Olowo; Chief Human Resources Officer of Airtel Africa, Ms Rogany Ramiah; the Special Advisor to the President on Social Investments, Mrs Maryam Uwais; the Managing Director/CEO of Airtel Nigeria, Mr Surendran Chemmenkotil and the CEO of Smartcash PSB, Mr Muyiwa Ebitanmi, amongst others.

During the occasion, Airtel said the SmartCash PSB will provide secure and reliable financial services to customers across Nigeria after obtaining a license from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The firm, which has its headquartered in Lagos, will accept deposits from individuals and small businesses, carry out payment and remittance services within Nigeria, and issue debit and prepaid cards among other banking services.

SmartCash also enables person-to-person payment and transfers from across the world. The service is currently available at selected retail touchpoints, though it hopes to reach the 36.8 per cent unbanked adult population in Nigeria, as estimated by the Access to Financial Services in Nigeria report.

Plans are underway to expand the innovative, technology-driven services to all parts of the country, including the furthest and most remote, in an effort to accelerate financial inclusion for all Nigerians.

“The launch of SmartCash Payment Service Bank gives us fresh impetus at Airtel Africa to continue growing our footprint in the continent and delivering innovative solutions.

“In the bank, we have the best of both worlds – a hybrid of commercial bank and mobile financial services – offering last mile connection to the financially excluded. Through it, we want to contribute towards driving financial inclusion in Nigeria, to empower Nigerians while transforming the payment landscape in Nigeria and the rest of Africa,” Mr Adesanya stated.

On his part, Mr Ebitanmi said: “Through SmartCash Payment Services Bank, we aim to bridge the financial divide by providing rural and urban Nigerians access to innovative, highly secured and reliable banking services that are powered by technology and are relevant to their needs.”

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Banking

New, Existing Customers of Stanbic IBTC to Enjoy Non-Collateralised Digital Loans

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Stanbic IBTC Holdings

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

New and existing customers of Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc have been assured of non-collateralised digital loans at any time of the day for their personal and business use

The chief executive of the lender, Mr Wole Adeniyi, explained that customers can access the affordable funding from N20,000 to N20 million from any location 24/7 without having to visit the branch and without paperwork as they are all digitised end-to-end.

He stated that the Stanbic IBTC Digital Loans come in various packages like Stanbic IBTC Unsecured Personal Loan, Top-Ups, Smart Loan, EZ Cash, and Device Financing.

It was explained that through the Stanbic IBTC Smart Loan solution, customers of the bank who also have mutual fund investments with Stanbic IBTC Asset Management can access up to N20 million instant loan to finance personal and business projects while their investments continue to earn them returns.

With the upgraded Stanbic IBTC Unsecured Personal Loan, salary earners can apply for a top-up of existing loans through their mobile devices from the comfort of their homes.

Similarly, with Stanbic IBTC EZ Cash, customers can access loans of up to N7.5 million via the bank’s USSD code *909*44#, the My Bank Module of the Stanbic IBTC Mobile App and the bank’s online banking portal. Customers can access loans quickly and conveniently with up to 48 months of repayment, depending on the loan type.

“The Stanbic IBTC Digital Loans, which are available via our Super App, our website, our *909# USSD service and Internet Banking, help alleviate some of the challenges individuals experience in meeting urgent financial needs.

“The loans are available to both new and existing customers of Stanbic IBTC and are geared towards helping customers meet their financial obligations at any time, no matter the urgency,” he stated.

“Customers, through the Stanbic IBTC Device Financing solution, can acquire new mobile devices from MTN partner stores and enjoy additional benefits such as 4GB data, 100 minutes talk time monthly and insurance against loss and screen damage,” Mr Adeniyi added.

He assured that the company would continue to design financial solutions that will meet the needs and enhance the financial growth of its esteemed customers.

“With economic empowerment as a core pillar of our corporate social investment initiatives, we remain committed to ensuring not only the growth of our customers but also their business activities,” Mr Adeniyi concluded.

It was gathered that the funding packages were designed by Stanbic IBTC as part of efforts to assist Nigerians with financing and also to address the challenges facing individuals in accessing finance.

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Banking

Ecobank Named Best Trade Finance Bank in West Africa

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Ecobank Nigeria

By Adedapo Adesanya

Ecobank has been named the Best Trade Finance Bank in West Africa at the prestigious Global Trade Review’s Leaders in Trade awards held in London last month.

In a statement released on Tuesday, the lender announced that the award comes as recognition of its solutions for domestic and regional supply chain financing across key trade corridors as well as the bank’s arranger roles and participation in key soft commodities campaign financing across West Africa, notably covering cotton, cacao, soya beans and cashew nuts.

Ecobank’s offerings are supplemented by its state-of-the-art E-trade module under the Omni Plus platform and its products are positioned to support both Corporate and Investment Banking and SME customers in leveraging on the African Continental Free Trade Area’s opportunities and growing intra-African trade.

The judges also recognized Ecobank’s Trade Services solutions, which led the bank to command significant market share on Letters of Credit across the continent, leveraging on its Paris-based affiliate, Ecobank International, for confirmations, payments, and discounts.

Commenting on the recognition, Mr Souleymane Diagne, Group Head, Trade Finance, Ecobank, said: “As a Pan-African bank with the largest footprint across the continent, a major ambition of Ecobank is to be the preferred trade bank for SMEs and corporates across Africa. We are committed to enabling them to take advantage of the immense growth opportunities fostered by the game-changing African Continental Free Trade Area.

“This accolade from Global Trade Review provides welcome recognition of the impact we are making through our suite of trade products and solutions, which include Structured Trade and Commodity Finance, Trade Services and Supply Chain Finance.

“For our customers and partners in West Africa and throughout sub-Saharan Africa, we are resolved to continue delivering value through our trade and multi-currency payments solutions, leveraging on our African expertise and our network’s advantage.”

Ecobank works closely with clients and leverages partners within and outside Africa in reviewing key aspects of transaction dynamics, including settlement, financing, risk mitigation, credit enhancement, syndications and applicable regulations.

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