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Economy

Orange, MTN Scale up Mobile Financial Services Across Africa

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Orange, MTN Scale up Mobile Financial Services Across Africa

By Dipo Olowookere

Two of Africa’s largest mobile operators and mobile money providers, Orange Group and MTN Group, have announced a joint venture to enable interoperable payments across the continent.

The new platform, Mowali, a mobile wallet interoperability, makes it possible to send money between mobile money accounts issued by any mobile money provider, in real time and at low cost.

Mowali will immediately benefit from the reach of MTN Mobile Money and Orange Money, bringing together over 100 million mobile money accounts and mobile money operations in 22 of sub-Saharan Africa’s 46 markets.

Mowali is ready to enable interoperability between digital financial service providers beyond MTN and Orange operations and markets, to support the existing 338 million mobile money accounts in Africa.

Mowali is a digital payment infrastructure that connects financial service providers and customers in one inclusive network. It functions as an industry utility, open to any mobile money provider in Africa, including banks, money transfer operators and other financial service providers.

The objective of Mowali is to increase the usage of mobile money by consumers and merchants.  Mowali enables money to circulate freely between mobile money accounts from any operators in all countries.

From the customer’s point of view, this means “I can pay or receive money anywhere from my mobile account regardless of my operator”. The system will unlock further innovation in the digital financial space within the continent.

According to Chairman and CEO of Orange, Stéphane Richard, “By providing full interoperability between platforms, Mowali will provide an important step forward that will allow mobile money to become a universal means of payment in Africa.

“Increasing financial inclusion through the use of digital technology is an essential element in furthering the economic development of Africa, particularly for more isolated communities. This solution embodies Orange’s ambition to be a leading player in the digital transformation of the continent. By joining forces with another of Africa’s market leaders, MTN, we aim to accelerate the pace of this transformation in a way that will change the lives of our customers by providing them with simpler, safer and more advantageous services.”

“One of MTN’s goals is to accelerate the penetration of mobile financial service in Africa, Mowali is one such vehicle that will help us achieve that objective.

“Furthermore, co-operation and partnerships that help us accelerate the pace of development and overcome some of the scale, scope and complexity of challenges that society faces are key.

“This partnership with Orange is therefore an important step in helping us play a meaningful role in supporting the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals related to eliminating extreme poverty and enhancing socio-economic development in the markets we operate in and beyond. Thus giving our customers access to a bright, digital future,” said Rob Shuter, Group President and CEO of MTN.

The GSMA supports the Mowali initiative as interoperability at this scale is a key accelerator for both financial inclusion and Mobile Money usability across Africa.

“Today, there are over 690 million mobile money accounts around the world. Mobile money services have become an essential, life-changing tool across Africa, providing access to safe and secure financial services but also to energy, health, education and employment opportunities. The creation of Mowali will help to further transform mobile financial services throughout the African region. It demonstrates the mobile industry’s continued leadership and commitment to driving financial inclusion and economic empowerment through industry collaboration. The GSMA is proud to support its development,” said Mats Granryd, Director General, GSMA.

“Interoperability of digital payments has been the toughest hurdle for the financial services industry to overcome, in support of financial inclusion. With Mowali, Orange and MTN deliver a solution that will enable them, and other companies, to scale digital financial services across Africa, faster, to everyone—including the poor,” said Kosta Peric, deputy director of Financial Services for the Poor, at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation “This is a signal that a new wave of innovation, which can help alleviate poverty and drive economic opportunity, is coming. We’re pleased to see an implementation of Mojaloop—an open source payment platform available to operators across the sector—help achieve that.”

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

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Economy

95% of Insurance Firms Upload Data to NAICOM Server

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NAICOM

By Adedapo Adesanya

The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has revealed that 95 per cent of insurance operators have uploaded their data on its platform as instructed within the last one month.

This disclosure was made by the Deputy Commissioner Technical, NAICOM, Mr Sabiu Abubakar, at an event in Lagos. He added that the commission was optimistic that before the end of the third quarter, the remaining 5 per cent will meet up the deadline.

He submitted that online processing of licenses, approvals and data uploading has started for most of the operational requests of the regulated agencies, stressing that issues arising from this application are being addressed promptly and that good progress has been recorded in the uploading of data on NAICOM server.

The insurance regulator official said NAICOM has trained both its staff and the insurance institution on how they use the portal.

On his part, the Commissioner for Insurance, Mr Sunday Thomas, said the NAICOM portal is one of the initiatives the agency was pursuing its efforts to deepen the insurance market and increase the penetration to a level that is consistent with the nation’s economy.

“As some of us may be aware, the Commission in July 2009, embarked on a comprehensive computerization effort tagged project e-regulation that was meant to transform its operational procedures and the conduct of its regulatory responsibilities by providing a robust, world-class ICT Infrastructure to help implement automated business processes internally and for industry-wide supervision via an integrated platform,” he said.

Mr Thomas noted that prior to the development of the portal, the processing of applications required that applicants physically drop off their applications at the commission with their attendant challenges of delays in processing times, and wasted manpower hours due to back-and-forth in application processing as well as ineffective application tracking system.

He then charged those yet to do the required task to help ease operations by uploading their data.

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Economy

A Thoughtful Approach to Wealth Management

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wealth management

By FBNQuest

Across the world, as baby boomers (aged 58-76) near and enter retirement, the attendant transfer of wealth between generations is necessitating a thoughtful approach to wealth management, instigated by common storylines such as this:

“I’m 35 years old and inherited $450,000 this year when my father passed away. I used part of the funds to buy a flat in old Ikoyi, and with the help of a financial advisor, invested the rest ($250,000) in a retirement plan.

“We set a budget so that the interest from the leftover principal could help pay my mortgage. I’m not supposed to touch the investment account…right?”

The coronavirus pandemic has also brought on triple threats to lives, livelihoods, and financial markets, causing individuals and businesses to pause and think about their financial priorities and legacy.

On the minds of wealth managers, therefore, will be a myriad of issues, including:

    Devising new ways of segmenting and serving clients across the wealth spectrum.

    Creating new and more efficient distribution channels by adopting new and enhanced technologies.

    Achieving sustainable and inclusive growth for clients.

    The fact that wealth and health needs will merge, leads to goal-based wealth platforms.

Africa: Wealth Rankings (by Country)

Where in Africa do the well-to-do reside and in what numbers? The recently released Africa Wealth Report 2022 shows that there are currently 136,000 High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs) living on the continent, along with 5,110 multi-millionaires, 305 centi-millionaires and 21 billionaires. It also illustrates that the total private wealth in Africa currently stands at $2.1trn, an amount that is expected to rise by 38% to $3trn in the next decade.

The Future of Wealth Management

The impact of COVID-19 on wealth management organisations and investors is expected to drive both groups to position themselves to thrive in the new normal. For them, this can mean considering several of the following actions as they seek opportunity amidst uncertainty.

Millennials and the ‘Great Wealth Transfer’: Many young people are in line to become extremely wealthy, in what is referred to as The Great Wealth Transfer. Wealth is expected to gradually change hands from one generation to the next before the year 2030.

Without knowledge of money management, saving for the future and smart investing, Millennials could jeopardise their futures. Financial literacy tools will come into play in reinforcing areas of potential strength, such as Logic vs. Emotion (understanding how to manage money based on the risk and potential return); Frugality vs. Extravagance (adopting delayed gratification); and Saving vs. Spending (think retirement accounts, emergency funds).

Younger investors also tend to feel less confident about how to reach their investment goals, which can lead to cautious investing – an irony, as investors with a longer time frame should ideally have the latitude to take more risk.

AI, Machine Learning: Technology such as Artificial intelligence (AI) will continue to make it possible to do far more in less time, and with fewer resources, while Machine learning can help wealth managers recognise patterns, anticipate future events, and create rules – think client calculation engines, modelling and simulation, and analytics. Robo-advising, the trusted AI-driven, virtual wealth management service, will resonate strongly with the tech-savvy Millennial generation and is essential for future wealth management industry growth.

Human and Digital Hybrids: Millennials are currently between the ages of 25 and 40.  This is an extensive range. Some of them are definitely keen on self-service, but there is also an appreciable number of affluent millennials who are on the verge of making really complex decisions when they will need human interaction to add real value, through strategic planning and advice. For this group, the key is to not only take advantage of the digital space but also to intersperse it with human interactions – a hybrid scenario.

Transformational Web Delivery via Mobile: Following the initial push to move services online, wealth managers are now cementing a second stage, with a particular focus on ubiquity over-mobile. Websites will deliver an even wider range of services where clients are able to view their investments and transactions, invest in Mutual Funds directly, and place orders to purchase or sell shares, regardless of their location, and while on the go. They are also able to access research reports and insightful market data.

In conclusion

The Planning Effect

Uncertainty should not be a reason to put your future on hold or hamper your ability to grow your wealth and keep more of what you earn. Whether you seek effective funds management, long-term planning, or investment strategy, an experienced wealth management professional can help you develop a personalised plan by carefully assessing your investment preferences and risk tolerance.

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Economy

CitiTrust Lifts Over-the-Counter Bourse by 0.05%

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Cititrust

By Adedapo Adesanya

CitiTrust Holdings Plc played the central role in lifting the National Association of Securities Dealer (NASD) Over-the-Counter (OTC) Securities Exchange by 0.05 per cent on Thursday, August 11.

This raised the NASD market capitalisation by N550 million yesterday to N1.007 trillion from the previous day’s N1.006 trillion as the NASD Unlisted Securities Index (NSI) went up by 0.41 points to wrap the session at 765.28 points compared with 764.87 points of the previous session.

On Thursday, the stock price of CitiTrust Holdings Plc rose by 55 Kobo to N11.90 per share from the N11.35 per share it was sold in the Wednesday session.

A look at the trading activity indicated that there was an 86.5 per cent increase in the volume of securities traded at the bourse yesterday to 111,021 units from the previous trading day’s 59,538 units.

However, the value of shares transacted by market participants went down by 41.7 per cent to N2.7 million from N4.6 million just as the number of trades reduced by 43.8 per cent to nine deals from the 16 deals executed a day earlier.

AG Mortgage Bank Plc remained the most traded stock by volume on a year-to-date basis with the sale of 2.3 billion units worth N1.2 billion, (Central Securities Clearing System) CSCS Plc stood in second place with the sale of 686.5 million units worth N14.2 billion, while Food Concepts Plc was in third place with the sale of 147.8 million units valued at N128.4 million.

Also, CSCS Plc was the most traded stock by value on a year-to-date basis with a turnover of 686.5 million units valued at N14.2 billion, VFD Group Plc was in second place with the sale of 11.1 million units worth N3.3 billion, while FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria Plc in third place has transacted 13.9 million units valued at N1.7 billion.

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