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Epos Now Launches its Cloud POS Solution in Nigeria

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Fintech startup Epos Now has entered Nigeria, which is considered Africa’s largest market in terms of size and opportunities in the financial services sector.

Epos Now, a global software and payments technology company, supporting over 35,000 retail and hospitality locations across 71 countries, has launched its cloud point of sale (POS) solution in Nigeria, making its first entry into the African market.

According to the statement released on the company’s official website, Epos Now is looking to satisfy a growing demand for affordable point of sale and merchant services technology in sub-Saharan Africa.

The statement reads, “Nigeria has been chosen as the launchpad for Epos Now’s entry into Africa due to its status as a rapidly expanding market for fintech and payment technology. Nigeria has recently established itself as the primary location from which to launch wider expansions into Africa, and Epos Now will be looking to satisfy a growing demand for affordable point of sale and merchant services technology in sub-Saharan Africa.

“In preparation for the expansion, Epos Now has partnered with Epos Solutions Nigeria, a leading provider of point of sale technology in the country.”

“The move follows a year that saw Epos Now enjoy rapid international growth, driven by expansions into Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Ireland, Spain and Latin America.

“Specifically, Epos Now’s system will offer small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) the ability to open new digital revenue streams, connect to a global customer base, and cater to rapidly shifting consumer habits in the current climate.

“Crucially, the system will also give merchants in Nigeria the opportunity to manage their online and physical operations from a single system.”

Ryan Heaphy, the VP of Strategic Partnerships EMEA, at Epos NOW said: “Nigeria is one of the fastest-growing markets for point of sale and payments technology, and our products and services are well-placed to meet the demand for advanced, affordable cloud POS solutions. With the right partnership in place, we look forward to helping thriving SMBs leverage the latest cloud technology to run their operations more efficiently and reach new customers.”

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Interswitch Unveils Whitepaper on Blockchain Technology Plans To Drive Growth of African Businesses

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Africa’s leading integrated digital payment and e-commerce company, Interswitch Group, has unveiled its whitepaper on blockchain technology titled “Blockchain Technology: The Future of Africa’s Digital Economy” to help drive the growth of African businesses.

The white paper document contains details on how businesses can leverage blockchain technology to transform their businesses and the prospects it portends for the future of Africa’s digital economy.

Blockchain technology is a digital ledger that stores transactions. Essentially, it is a digital system for recording transactions in multiple places at the same time thereby making it impossible to falsify the data stored on it.

Akeem Lawal, Managing Director, Transaction Switching and Payment Processing at Interswitch commented, “The whitepaper document was inspired by the need to demystify the ambiguity around blockchain technology for African businesses thereby driving digitization and socio-economic growth across African markets. We are passionate about empowering Africans and advancing the African payment landscape, and we are consistently identifying opportunities and exploring innovative ways to enable businesses to transform and scale.”

He revealed that the whitepaper document encapsulates the benefits of blockchain technology and how it will help strengthen businesses because of its efficiency, better security in keeping records, and safety.

He further said: “While the blockchain technology is a relatively new phenomenon in Nigeria and Africa, we are particularly excited about our partnership with Interstellar with whom we are developing a native blockchain infrastructure that is tailored to suit the African market. This initiative will deepen digital payment, lower the cost of local and cross border payment as well as champion the cause for localization of emerging technology”.

He urged everyone to read the whitepaper document because it addresses existing challenges in the Fintech sector and simplifies the use of blockchain technology in unraveling these challenges. Download the whitepaper here.

Blockchain technology is evolving globally and businesses are integrating blockchain technology into their business infrastructure.

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Carbon, Network International Partner to Deepen Digital Payment Offerings

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One of Nigeria’s leading Digital Banks, Carbon has partnered with Network International, a leading enabler of digital commerce across Africa and the Middle East, to deepen digital payment offerings in Nigeria and Africa at large.

According to the agreement signed by the two companies, Network International will start issuing physical visa debit cards on behalf of Carbon to enable the NEO Bank to increase its product offerings and address customers’ needs. The partnership is expected to support Carbon’s financial inclusion among the unbanked and underbanked in Nigeria.

Commenting on the partnership, Chijioke Dozie, CEO/Co-Founder, Carbon, said “Offering excellent service delivery to our customers is always top priority and that includes our Carbon Visa cardholders. With Network International, we have a partner with years of experience providing card solutions for forward-looking organizations. And we’re truly excited for how this translates into a better payment experience for Carbon customers everywhere.”

Chinwe Uzoho, Regional Director West & Central Africa, Network International, also stated that the “Network International is delighted to continue its collaboration with prominent African banks such as Carbon in Nigeria, that lend weight to our ongoing commitment to advancing financial inclusion in emerging markets through greater digital payment penetration. We are pleased to support Carbon’s mission of creating greater access to credit and quality financial services to Nigerians and look forward to supporting their growth plans through our best-in-class technology and trusted platform.”

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FirstBank Fintech Summit 5.0: How Open Banking Can Address Market Frictions, Grow Nigeria’s GDP to $3 Trillion by 2035 – Ndubuisi Ekekwe

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Professor Ndubuisi Ekekwe, the Chairman of FASMICRO Group and the lead Faculty in Tekedia Institute, on Thursday discussed how financial institutions can use open banking access to address market frictions, improve the standard of living, further economic productivity and transform the Nigerian society into an innovative society.

Speaking at the virtual FirstBank Fintech Summit 5.0 on Open Banking: The Grand Unification of Application Utility Age, Prof. Ekekwe posited that if according to Pythagoras the world is made up of numbers, then ‘it means the business of humanity is nothing but the business of numbers’. Meaning, if a doctor understands the numbers around the human system, he/she will become a better doctor, it is the same for banks and other businesses. Therefore, the quest to getting better in any industry or society is to build a solid data system that allows operators to better understand the numbers around that industry or society.

The Prof break this down by using the inherent imperfect market systems that impede big businesses from understanding the needs of those in the rural areas, therefore, making it impossible to profer solutions that could help further these companies’ missions and visions, fast track their growth and help humanity at large.

Using a chart titled ‘the Mission of Firms’, Prof Ekekwe stated that because the demand knows something that supply does not know and vice versa, it is cogent for businesses to acquire capabilities that enable them to bring demand and supply to an equilibrium point where supply can succinctly address demand.

Banks, Restaurants, Fintechs, etc must acquire capabilities that help them understand societal needs before they can profer solutions necessary to make transactions happen. Professor Ekekwe cited the bank’s position as a depository and also a lender, this he said makes it possible for borrowers willing to pay a certain percentage as an interest to approach banks for loans while those not presently in need of their money can equally deposit it in the bank for a fraction of the interest paid by borrowers. By addressing this market friction, the bank was able to make transactions happen, support borrowers’ business and satisfy the need of depositors.

However, because companies that only serve the needs of customers will never be great. It is important to understand not just customers’ needs but expectations and perceptions. This, Prof Ekekwe said can be achieved through the insights provided by the improved data of open banking, saying open banking offers promise to have a better insight into the future of customers.

Therefore, to unlock new growth, financial services providers must become an operating system through shared APIs for all sectors. More data will translate to better insights and more market opportunities that could bolster Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to $3 trillion by 2035 as other companies will have access to those customers through APIs.

Using the chart below, Prof Ekekwe revealed how banks can access data from all sectors through Open Banking innovation and use this information to understand what businesses and customers in the agriculture, healthcare, technology, real estate and education sectors expect of them.

According to him, the knowledge system the bank can acquire from open banking ordinance will not only affect the financial services but also have the capability to impact mortgage business,  real estate business and other businesses in our society.

He further stated that the effective implementation of open banking will increase available opportunities in each sector by a factor of six, bolstering Nigeria’s GDP to $3 trillion by 2035. Explaining how this can be achieved, he said banks and other businesses with data from APIs will be able to expand their offerings by understanding the needs of those in the rural areas, therefore, sharing progress and prosperity in abundance across rural regions.

Bringing it all together, open banking takes banks beyond financial services to become Operating System (OS) of economies by providing retail customers with necessary analytics, viable credit systems that provide insights into their activities and encourage intelligent lending while Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) would have an integrated tax and accounting interface that empowers them to understand their own business, cashflow and deposit better.

Other sectors like real estate, Oil and Gas, etc perform better with Open Banking, and even compliance with regulatory guidelines become better and improve with a well-thought-out and executed open banking architecture.  This, Professor Ekekwe concluded would transform Nigerian society into an innovative society.

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