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MTN Paid N80bn of N330bn Fine — FG

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MTN
  • MTN Paid N80bn of N330bn Fine

The Federal Government has confirmed that MTN Nigeria has paid N80bn of the N330bn fine imposed on it for failing to deactivate more than five million unregistered Subscriber Identification Module cards.

Speaking at the News Agency of Nigeria Forum in Abuja on Monday, the Minister of Communications, Mr. Adebayo Shittu, said that the company paid the sum for the first year.

It will be recalled that MTN was initially fined $5.2bn (N1.04tn) for failing to deactivate more than five million unregistered SIM cards but the fine was later reduced to N330bn.

Shittu stated, “For the first year, they paid N80bn, including the initial N50bn, and they will have to pay for three years until they will complete the N330bn.

“MTN does not have a choice; when the law was made, it said for every unregistered SIM card in use, the fine is N200,000; the law never anticipated that one company will be in violation to the tune of millions of lines.

“It was inconceivable; so, when the thing was added N200,000 times 5.2 million lines, it came to N1tn plus.”

The minister added, “When it happened, MTN did four things: one, they accepted that they were in default; two, they apologised for that; and three, they committed themselves never to allow such a thing to happen again; and number four, they asked for remission.

“The government had to look at a number of factors, because if they have to pay this amount, they will pack up. We also knew that we invited the international community to come and invest and anything that will be done, which will shake the confidence of international investors in the Nigerian economy, we must avoid it.

“Consequently, we must not throw away the baby with the bath water; if they had packed up and left, let us assume all their staff members are not more than 5,000, it means all of those 5,000 will lose their jobs.

“Also, those who made investment and who bought shares will lose their shares, and the Nigerian banking sector will go into a crisis.”

The minister said that even in the court system, if one was fined and could not pay for one reason or the other, the person would ask for reconsideration, either by way of appeal or by bringing up a motion.

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.

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Fintech

SEC Plans to Launch Regulatory Incubation Programme For Fintechs

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Securities and Exchange Commission- Investors King

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced plans to launch a regulatory incubation (RI) programme for fintech operating or seeking to operate in the Nigerian capital market.

According to a circular published on the commission’s website on Wednesday, June 16, it says that the initiative will be launched in the third quarter of 2021 and will operate by admitting identified fintech business models and processes in cohorts for a one-year period.

The RI program comprises two phases of participation – an initial assessment phase and the regulatory incubation phase.

The SEC said that the categories to be admitted into each cohort will be determined based on submissions received through the fintech assessment form and communicated ahead of each take-off date.

The circular read: “Review of completed Fintech Assessment Forms will continue on an ongoing basis. FinTechs who consider that there is no specific regulation governing their business models or who require clarity on the appropriate regulatory regime for seeking the authorization of the Commission, are encouraged to complete the Fintech Assessment Form.

The commission maintained that it designed the RI program in order to address the needs of new business models and processes that require regulatory authorization to continue carrying out full or ancillary technology-driven capital market activities.

It will serve as an interim measure to aid the evolution of effective regulation which accommodates the innovation by fintech without compromising market integrity and within limits that ensure investor protection.

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Telecommunications

Truecaller Launches Smart SMS Feature in Africa

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Truecaller- Investors King

Truecaller, the world’s most trusted and accurate Caller ID and telephone search engine, is rolling out a new feature to further augment the user experience.

The new feature Smart SMS has been introduced based on user feedback and is designed to cater to the evolving needs of our consumers. It offers a host of new services to make day-to-day communication a lot more convenient.

Smart SMS is powered by state-of-the-art machine learning models that adapt based on the feedback you give it. It supports users with important messages from banks, billers, travel companies, delivery companies and so much more.

Smart SMS also helps users stay protected from spam and fraud. Only the essential information within an SMS is highlighted and all SMS messages are categorised and easily accessible. From keeping track of your expenses to last-minute changes to your travel, Smart SMS is the future of SMS that will make life a whole lot easier.

Commenting on the new addition, Zakaria Abdulkadir Hersi, Director of Business Development & Partnerships Africa at Truecaller said: “Roughly 80% of SMSes one receives daily are from businesses, disengaging users from important/useful messages. To combat that, SMS apps need to become smarter by filtering out spam and categorising useful information.

“At Truecaller, we constantly strive to offer the best user experience by adding unique features that fit in with our core mission: to make communication safer and more efficient for everyone. Truecaller has evolved into a powerful communication hub and for the people who wish to use the app to its fullest, we want to streamline the experience as much as possible for an efficient calling and messaging experience for our end user.”

Truecaller uses the same powerful algorithms used to identify spam callers in SMS as well. The SMS intelligence is built into the app itself and it can work offline – nothing leaves your device, including all OTPs, bank SMSes and financial information.

The feature also offers a Smart Inbox that identifies unknown SMS sender numbers and SMS sender IDs are resolved to business names with logos.

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Fintech

Finance Apps’ Deployment Rises by 160% in Nigeria – Report

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fintech - Investors King

AppsFlyer, a global marketing measurement firm has released the 2021 edition of its ‘State of Finance App Marketing,’ report, carried out across Nigeria and other selected countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

The report however showed that COVID-19 pandemic directly impacted how consumers interact with financial institutions and how the institutions themselves operate.

According to the report, Financial Technology (FinTech) apps were in high demand, experiencing a 132 per cent leap globally in downloads in the last two years, while sub-Saharan Africa saw impressive growth, with installs in Nigeria climbing 160 per cent, up 100 per cent in Kenya and rising by 52 per cent in South Africa.

Commenting on the growth of finance apps across Africa, the Regional Vice President for EMEA, in charge of Strategic Projects for AppsFlyer, Daniel Junowicz, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic rapidly accelerated the adoption of financial technology globally and in emerging markets especially, finance apps helped millions of consumers and businesses remain connected. This trend is likely to continue and understanding how to best market their apps will be key to African businesses standing out from the crowd and growing their customer base.”

Junowicz added, “With this year heading for a record with total spend globally, reaching no less than $1.2 billion in Q1 alone, we believe that combining different types of marketing activities in addition to improving the registration funnel by optimizing and shortening the time from install to registration will give marketers the edge to utilize their 2021 budget to the fullest.”

Giving details of the deployment of finance apps in Africa, Junowicz said demand for finance apps became all-time high, where downloads of finance apps shot up over the last year. With 56 per cent of the unbanked population in Nigeria many are turning to apps to access key financial solutions including, loans 43.3 per cent, financial services at 35.6 per cent, and investments at 20.3 per cent.

“Nigeria’s Cost Per Install is up 70 per cent since Q2, leading to a spike in spend, especially in Q1 2021 when budgets almost tripled. While each of the three key regions have experienced growth in marketing activity in the last year, Kenya’s overall growth in the last two years has fallen,” the report said.

Giving key global insights about the use of finance app, the report stated that digital banking installs up 45 per cent, while traditional banks gain 22 per cent in 2021. Finance app installs increased 20 per cent overall, but financial services and traditional banking app installs saw only a 15 per cent increase between Q1 2020 and Q1 2021. However, only in the first quarter of 2021, traditional banks picked up speed with a 22 per cent rise in installs.

It said there was 3.3 times growth in the number of re-marketing conversions between Q1 2020 and Q1 2021, adding that following a 32 per cent drop in spend in Q2 of 2020 in global market, efforts rebounded in Q3 and with rising user acquisition costs, marketers increased activity in remarketing, which soared 3 times by Q1 2021. Overall, the growth path of non-organic installs continued upward, hitting 172 per cent growth between 2019 and now.

The report added: “Demand for finance apps is rising across the globe, as 29 of the top 40 finance markets by app installs, enjoyed a growth of at least 20 per cent Year-on-Year (YoY), however it was the developing markets that dominated the number of installs. The average number of downloads in developing markets was 70 per cent higher than the average in developed markets, with India, Brazil and Indonesia making up almost half of the global number of downloads.”

Head of Content and Mobile Insight at AppsFlyer, Shani Rosenfelder, said: “FinTech experienced rapid digital transformation over the last year, with the pandemic leading to a shift in mindset even for those that have been slow to adapt.

“Marketers should strive for efficiency with their spend by following the rising Cost Per Install trend and focusing on user acquisition to meet new demand. Marketers should also explore more affordable re-marketing campaigns to keep their brand top of mind amid rising market competition.”

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