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Ecobank Targets 100 Million Customers With New Mobile App

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  • Ecobank Targets 100 Million Customers With New Mobile App

Ecobank Group has launched a mobile payment app tagged ‘Ecobank Masterpass QR’ aimed at increasing its customer base to 100 million across Africa by 2020.

Masterpass QR is the first mobile-driven, Person-to-Merchant (P2M) payment solution.

The Group Chief Executive Officer of Ecobank, Mr. Ade Ayeyemi, announced this on Friday at the launch of Masterpass in Lagos.

Ayeyemi said that the bank’s customer base, currently at 11 million, would increase to 100 million in 2020 with the mobile application.

He said that the application would boost the bank’s customer base in 33 countries across Africa.

He said, “This new agreement will give Ecobank the scale and capacity to achieve its 100 million customer ambition in a profitable and sustainable way by 2020.

“The bank is creating a platform for everybody, for people who want to sell or even transfer money to make banking easy.

“Banking is not just about people on the top of pyramid but for everybody, and that is why we partnered with a range of people to make payment very easy.”

He said that the application would address the challenge of expensive infrastructure associated with point of sale devices and eliminate the need for cash.

He said, “This partnership will shift Africa to instant and secure digital payment solution.”

Ayeyemi stated that the service would enable millions of micro, small and medium enterprises across Africa to have access to fast and secure digital payments.

The Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria, Mr. Charles Kie, said that the application would open a lot of opportunities for everybody.

Kie said that the application would make banking easy and more convenient for Ecobank customers.

The Division President, Sub-Saharan Africa, Mastercard, Mr. Daniel Monehin, said that Masterpass QR would meet the needs of micro merchants in Nigeria.

He said, “Our extended partnership with Ecobank signals one of the largest implementations of a digital payment solution in Africa, resulting in millions of previously excluded people joining the financial ecosystem.”

He said that micro, small and medium enterprises across Africa contribute significantly to economic growth, creating about 80 per cent of the region’s employment.

Monehin said that the introduction of digital payment solutions such as Masterpass QR, would help these businesses to become more efficient.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Crude Oil

Oil Jumps to $67.70 as OPEC+ Extends Production Cuts

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Oil Jumps to $67.70 as OPEC+ Extends Production Cuts

Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, rose to $67.70 per barrel on Thursday following the decision of OPEC and allies, known as OPEC+, to extend production cuts.

OPEC and allies are presently debating whether to restore as much as 1.5 million barrels per day of crude oil in April, according to people with the knowledge of the meeting.

Experts have said OPEC+ continuous production cuts could increase global inflationary pressure with the rising price of could oil. However, Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said “I don’t think it will overheat.”

Last year “we suffered alone, we as OPEC+” and now “it’s about being vigilant and being careful,” he said.

Saudi minister added that the additional 1 million barrel-a-day voluntary production cut the kingdom introduced in February was now open-ended. Meaning, OPEC+ will be withholding 7 million barrels a day or 7 percent of global demand from the market– even as fuel consumption recovers in many nations.

Experts have started predicting $75 a barrel by April.

“We expect oil prices to rise toward $70 to $75 a barrel during April,” said Ann-Louise Hittle, vice president of macro oils at consultant Wood Mackenzie Ltd. “The risk is these higher prices will dampen the tentative global recovery. But the Saudi energy minister is adamant OPEC+ must watch for concrete signs of a demand rise before he moves on production.”

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Gold

Gold Hits Eight-Month Low as Global Optimism Grows Amid Rising Demand for Bitcoin

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Gold Struggles Ahead of Economic Recovery as Bitcoin, New Gold, Surges

Global haven asset, gold, declined to the lowest in more than eight months on Tuesday as signs of global economic recovery became glaring with rising bond yields.

The price of the precious metal declined to $1,718 per ounce during London trading on Thursday, down from $2,072 it traded in August as more investors continue to cut down on their holdings of the metal.

The previous metal usually performs poorly with rising yields on other assets like bonds, especially given the fact that gold does not provide streams of interest payments. Investors have been jumping on US bonds ahead of President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus stimulus package, expected to stoke stronger US price growth.

We see the rising bond yields as a sign of economic optimism, which has also prompted gold investors to sell some of their positions,” said Carsten Menke of Julius Baer.

Another analyst from Commerzbank, Carsten Fritsch, said that “gold’s reputation appears to have been tarnished considerably by the heavy losses of recent weeks, as evidenced by the ongoing outflows from gold ETFs”.

Experts at Investors King believed the growing demand for Bitcoin, now called the new gold, and other cryptocurrencies in recent months by institutional investors is hurting gold attractiveness.

In a recent report, analysts at Citigroup have started projecting mainstream acceptance for the unregulated dominant cryptocurrency, Bitcoin.

The price of Bitcoin has rallied by 60 percent to $52,000 this year alone. While Ethereum has risen by over 660 percent in 2021.

 

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Crude Oil

Oil Prices Extend Gains to $64.32 Ahead of OPEC+ Meeting

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Oil Prices Rise to $64.32 Amid Expected Output Extension

Oil prices extended gains during the early hours of Thursday trading session amid the possibility that OPEC+ producers might not increase output at a key meeting scheduled for later in the day and the drop in U.S refining.

Brent crude oil, against which Nigeria oil is priced, gained 0.4 percent or 27 cents to $64.32 per barrel as at 7:32 am Nigerian time on Thursday. While the U.S West Texas Intermediate gained 19 cents or 0.3 percent to $61.47 a barrel.

“Prices hinge on Russia’s and Saudi Arabia’s preference to add more crude oil production,” said Stephen Innes, global market strategist at Axi. “Perhaps more interesting is the lack of U.S. shale response to the higher crude oil prices, which is favourable for higher prices.”

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies, together known as OPEC+, are looking to extend production cuts into April against expected output increase due to the fragile state of the global oil market.

Oil traders and businesses had been expecting the oil cartel to ease production by around 500,000 barrels per day since January 2021 but because of the coronavirus risk and rising global uncertainties, OPEC+ was forced to role-over production cuts until March. Experts now expect that this could be extended to April given the global situation.

“OPEC+ is currently meeting to discuss its current supply agreement. This raised the spectre of a rollover in supply cuts, which also buoyed the market,” ANZ said in a report.

Meanwhile, U.S crude oil inventories rose by more than a record 21 million barrels last week as refining plunged to a record-low amid Texas weather that knocked out power from homes.

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