Trove and Bamboo, the two of the numerous fintech companies, facilitating investments in foreign assets for Nigerians in Nigeria have released statements to assured Nigerians that have invested through their platforms that their investments are safe.
The assurance came few hours after the Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) released a circular to warn the public against unregistered online investment and trading platforms facilitating access to foreign markets.
The SEC, in a circular titled, ‘Proliferation of Unregistered Online Investment and Trading Platforms Facilitating Access to Trading in Securities Listed in Foreign Markets’ stated that its attention has been “drawn to the existence of several providers of online investment and trading platforms which purportedly facilitate direct access of the investing public in the Federal Republic of Nigeria to securities of foreign Companies listed on Securities Exchanges registered in other jurisdictions. These platforms also claim to be operating in partnership with Capital Market operators (CMOs) registered with the Commission.”
“The Commission categorically states that by the provisions of Sections 67-70 of the Investments and Securities Act (ISA), 2007 and Rules 414 & 415 of the SEC Rules and Regulations, only foreign securities listed on any Exchange registered in Nigeria may be issued, sold or offered for sale or subscription to the Nigerian public. Accordingly, CMOs who work in concert with the referenced online platforms are hereby notified of the Commission’s position and advised to desist henceforth.
“The Commission enjoins the investing public to seek clarification as may be required via its established channels of communication on investment products advertised through conventional or online mediums.”
However, Trove immediately released a statement, saying “Our attention has been drawn to the SEC circular that was recently issued.
“Please be aware that we are and will remain committed to being in compliance with all local laws and regulations. We have always maintained good standing with all existing compliance requirements and regulatory frameworks.
“Be rest assured that your funds and equities are safe and secure with Trove.
“Since the memorandum, we have been liaising with the SEC to get more clarity on the circular. We are also engaging with top level executives at our local partner brokers. Additionally, we have involved legal professionals to manage the on-going mediation.
“From all indications, we anticipate everything would be resolved.
“Kindly note that your US funds and equities are held in custody by Drivewealth LLC, a regulated broker dealer in the US and protected by the SIPC, for up to $500,000.
“You can continue your trading activities as normal as we are still fully capable of carrying out our responsibilities as usual.
“Be rest assured that we are on top of all the happenings and would actively communicate with you all as things progress. Thanks for all your support and confidence”
Bamboo also responded in a similar version to calm thousands of investors on its platform.
Richmond Bassey, CEO, Bamboo, in a statement sent to all registered investors said “We are aware of the recently released SEC circular about trading in foreign markets.
“First off, we want to assure you that your assets on Bamboo remain safe and easily accessible to you.
“We are already in discussions with the SEC and our broker partner and are fully committed to working with them to ensure your interests as our users are fully protected.
“We want to reassure you that there’s nothing to be concerned about. We are still able to carry out all our operations and will continue to do so. Should the situation change, we will inform and advise you on the best course of action.
“Thank you for your continued faith and trust in us. We will continue to put in all the hard work to serve you. Thank you.”
Flutterwave Receives PSP, Payments Facilitator Licenses in Egypt
Nigeria’s leading fintech giant, Flutterwave has received two licenses in Egypt as it moves to deepen payments in Africa and connect the continent to the rest of the world.
The company, in a short note from its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Co-founder, Olugbenga GB Agboola, announced that Egypt Government had approved the Payment Services Provider license and Payments Facilitator license for its operations in the North African nation.
He said “I’m so proud to announce that we (Flutterwave) have accomplished a major milestone in our journey as we obtained our Payment Services Provider and Payments Facilitator licenses in Egypt 🇪🇬.
“Our vision is to connect all major parts of Africa through payments and further connect Africa to the world and this new license is yet another step in that direction.
“Truly, this is big news for our customers, partners, investors, and other stakeholders.
“I am excited to see how this new license helps us provide first-class payment services and seamlessly connect businesses to their customers in Egypt 🇪🇬.”
Founded in 2016 with the aim of making it easier for people in Africa to pay and get paid, both locally and globally. Flutterwave’s main products is its payment gateway, which enables businesses to accept payments from customers through a variety of channels, including debit and credit cards, bank transfers, Paypal and mobile money. The payment gateway is secure and reliable, with 24/7 support and dispute resolution services.
Another important product offered by Flutterwave is its Rave platform, which enables businesses to send and receive payments, as well as manage their finances, in a single place. Rave integrates with popular e-commerce platforms and offers a range of features, including invoicing, recurring payments, and currency conversion.
Flutterwave also provides individuals with financial services through its Barter platform. Barter allows users to make payments, transfer money, and pay bills from their mobile devices. The platform is easy to use and supports multiple currencies, making it ideal for people who travel frequently or who need to send money to friends and family abroad.
In addition to its core products, Flutterwave has a range of partnerships and integrations with companies and organizations that provide complementary services, such as e-commerce platforms, payment processors, and financial institutions. This helps to create a seamless experience for users, as well as providing businesses with a range of options to choose from when setting up their payment systems.
Kenya Withdraws Financial Impropriety Case Against Flutterwave
Nigerian fintech and African unicorn Flutterwave have been cleared of money laundering allegations leveled against it by the Kenyan Asset Recovery Agency (ARA).
The withdrawal of the charges by a Kenyan high court was verified and revealed by a lawyer representing Flutterwave Robert Gitau.
About seven months ago, Flutterwave had its bank accounts closed following a court order by a Kenyan high court that accused the Fintech giant and some companies of money laundering and card fraud which violated the country’s anti-corruption laws.
Flutterwave alone had its accounts frozen to the tune of $56.7 million (6.7 billion Kenyan Shillings) by Kenya’s asset recovery agency.
According to the court filing, Flutterwave bank accounts operations had suspicious activities where funds could be received from specific foreign entities which raised suspicion. The funds were then transferred to related accounts as opposed to settlements to merchants.
This forced the Central Bank of Kenya to send out a circular to all financial institutions in partnership with Flutterwave to cease working with the fintech firm.
Reacting to the allegations, Flutterwave released a statement stating that such claims were false. The company wrote, “financial improprieties involving the company in Kenta are entirely false, and we have the records to verify things”.
Flutterwave further disclosed that it maintains the highest regulatory standards and is proactive in engagements with regulatory bodies to stay compliant.
Valued at $3 billion in its last funding round, Investors King understands that the fraud and laundering accusations, as well as internal scandals that rocked the Fintech giant, stalled its IPO offering.
This spurred Flutterwave to hire Oneal Bhambani, Ex-America Express as CFO, and also Gurbhej Dhillon, an Ex-Goldman Sachs as CTO, which an analyst believed that such an appointment was necessary as most of the scandals that rocked the firm were financial and an experienced CFO would have prevented or at least controlled it better.
Meanwhile, on January 11, 2023, Investors King reported that Flutterwave is currently in talks to acquire Railsr, a prominent British fintech company, following the impactation of inflationary pressures.
Elon Musk Push Plans For Twitter to Offer Fintech Services
Twitter CEO Elon Musk is currently pushing ahead with his plans for Twitter to offer fintech services, as he seeks to incorporate a payments option on the platform.
This move is suggested to be connected to Musk’s statement after he neared a deal to buy Twitter, in which he disclosed via a Tweet that the platform would be an everything app. He tweeted, “Buying Twitter is an accelerant to creating X, the everything app”.
After he purchased the company, on November 2022, Musk revealed his vision for Twitter to enter the payments market during a live-streamed meeting with Twitter advertisers, hosted on Twitter spaces.
Musk hinted that in the future, users would be able to send money to others on the platform, extract their funds to authenticated bank accounts, and after, perhaps, be offered a high-yield money market account to encourage them to move their cash to Twitter.
Investors King understands that Twitter has already started the process of developing software and applying for regulatory licenses to add a payment component to the platform.
Sources familiar with Twitter’s plan disclosed that the platform has started applying for state licenses after filing to be a payments processor with the U.S. treasury in November.
Few analysts suggest that Musk’s plan to incorporate the payments option on Twitter could be him making a move to restore lost revenue after advertisers on the platform paused their ads over concerns regarding content moderation and free speech policy.
Musk plan to push Twitter into the online payment space could pose a threat to online payment giant Paypal.
Meanwhile, the financial times noted that if eventually Twitter becomes a payments processor, it would face stiff competition from existing apps within that sphere, also noting that it could also expect to contend with high levels of regulatory scrutiny, potentially presenting another level of difficulty for the company.
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