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Polaris Bank Nigeria Launches VULTe; a New Digital Bank

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VULTe - Investors King

Nigeria’s leading retail Bank Polaris has launched a digital bank called VULTe.

Speaking at the well-attended unveiling ceremony which held in Eko Hotel, Lagos the Chairman of the Bank, M.K Ahmad (OON) disclosed that the corporate goal of Polaris is to offer customers and non-customers of the Bank, a 24-hour seamless service using VULTe.

In his words, “This is a milestone in our pursuit of a strong and digitally-led retail brand. When we started the Polaris journey almost three years ago, we were very clear on the type of Bank we must build and the direction we must go. This was largely informed by the fast pace of change in financial service provisioning and the apparent technology-defined outlook of our business.”

“We are therefore bringing VULTe to the market place today. And this is not another mobile App, but one with a world of difference, a mobile digital bank. This is your Bank in your hand, affording you total Control of your financial service needs. With VULTe, you serve yourself, the way you want to be served,” the Chairman explained.

In his address, the Acting Managing Director/CEO of the Bank, Mr. Innocent C. Ike said the newly-launched banking platform, is returning all powers to the customer as king. He noted that customers are now at liberty to enjoy unhindered, contactless and refreshing banking experience all at the tip of their fingers thanks to the newly launched VULTe app.

“With VULTe, we affirm our resolve to serve the customer better and make their banking experience, more pleasurable. Therefore, we will continue to launch an array of banking products to cater to the varying needs of our diverse customers.”

Explaining the premium value the Bank places on its customer with the VULTe, Ike said: “Ultimately, VULTe represents our bold declaration to hand over CONTROL of banking services to our customers and allow them to serve themselves as they would want to be served.

“As a Polaris Bank customer, you are at liberty to determine your banking experience since we have put the Bank in your hand 24/7. You now have total CONTROL to serve yourself; it’s no more customer service but customer self-service.

“Are you opening an account, setting limits on your account, verifying your identity documents, registering your biometrics, making inquiries, taking an instant loan? You are in total CONTROL – you do it at your time, at your convenience, and on your terms – you determine how delightful your banking experience will be”.

The highlight of the launching was the practical demonstration of the uniqueness of the VULTe application by the Bank’s Chief Digital Officer, (CDO) Mr. Bamidele Adeyinka to the excited guests.

According to him; “The Digital Banking Platform, VULTE, will change everything that happens in the ‘brick & mortar’ space (i.e. branches) to clicks and buttons.” Continuing, he stated, “VULTE comes in mobile (Android and iOS) and Web Applications and it allows customers with either of the options, to access banking services at the click of the button,” he added.

The CDO explained that all Bank customers in the country can take advantage of VULTe to carry out their banking transactions including account opening, bills payments, transfers, balance enquiry, airtime recharge and quick loans.

He further stated that on-boarded customers will be able to access PayDay Loan on both mobile and web digital platform where eligibility will be displayed to the customer within the VULTe application.

Also, on-boarded customers will be enabled to pay taxes and levies for different government parastatals in addition to several other benefits such as ability to perform intra-bank and inter-bank transfers.

“To onboard, customers with BVN will input their BVN and take a selfie (photo of their face) which will be compared automatically with the photo on their BVN profile (via Facial Recognition – an advanced cognitive and artificial intelligence facial recognition technology),” the CDO disclosed.

Meanwhile, the Bank also announced special reward packages for early users of the VULTe app. Reeling out giveaways and free gifts, Mr. Muhammed Abdullahi, Executive Director, Abuja and Northern Region of the Bank said: “For your loyalty and positive acceptance of VULTe and all other banking services offered by Polaris Bank, on behalf of the Board, Management and Staff, I’m happy to announce some mouthwatering offers to everyone following us to mark this occassion.

“Consequently, please note that the first 2000 persons who download VULTe from Appstore or PlayStore and make a transfers on the platform, stand to win a collection of beautiful mementos like;  Mugs, Michael Cable Charger, Key Rings, Pop Socket among other collection of gifts,” the ED said.

The launch event had in attendance representatives of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), key Financial Technology (FinTechs) industry players and strategic partners of Polaris Bank who all in their goodwill messages attested to the bank’s unwavering determination to ensuring quality customer satisfaction at all times.

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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Flutterwave, 9PSB Partner to Boost Growth of Inclusive Financial Services in Nigeria

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Flutterwave and 9PSB

Flutterwave, Africa’s leading payments technology company and Nigeria’s very first payment service bank, 9PSB on Monday entered into a partnership agreement that will help facilitate seamless financial services for Nigerians.

In a joint statement issued by both companies, the partnership seeks to create a seamless payment ecosystem by aggregating and simplifying transactions for banking agents, merchants, and consumers.

The partnership will also support the drive for economic growth through empowerment of the SME sector, entrepreneurs in FinTech and other industries, as well as contribute to the transformation of the informal sector to formal.

Speaking at the MoU signing ceremony, held at the 9PSB head office in Lagos, the Chief Executive Officer, 9PSB, Branka Mracajac remarked that the collaboration between 9PSB and Flutterwave represents an important milestone in making banking services accessible to all.

According to her, the partnership supports both companies’ commitment to expand accessibility and serve as last-mile delivery of solutions to the unbanked, under-banked and underserved. She said, “9PSB, being focused on the presence in unserved, rural, and remote areas, has a unique business model that provides Agent Banking as a Service to our partners to drive financial inclusion. Expanding on our promise to deliver relevant products, with this partnership, our existing agents, partners, and customers will have a single point of entry to enjoy various products and services provided by Flutterwave.”

With this partnership, Flutterwave and 9PSB are jointly launching a suite of products to enable other corporate entities, FinTech, technology and other industries to take advantage of the robust end-to-end system available for payments, collections, and transactions for both the banked and financially excluded Nigerians.

Commenting on the choice of 9PSB as its settlement bank, Founder and CEO, Flutterwave, Olugbenga Agboola noted that both companies share the same vision and are committed to one goal of powering seamless financial services. “At Flutterwave, we believe in an ecosystem of shared value that transforms and impacts society. We are showcasing the power of strategic partnership and cross-sectoral collaboration in advancing Nigeria’s financial ecosystem,” he said.

A paper published by the CBN—Financial Inclusion in Nigeria; Issues and Challenges, admits that there is global consensus on the importance of financial inclusion due to its key role in bringing integrity and stability into an economy’s financial system as well as its role in fighting poverty in a sustainable manner. The partnership between 9PSB and Flutterwave keys into various calls for interconnectivity and interoperability amongst stakeholders in the financial sector in accelerating the country’s financial inclusion drive to create prosperity and grow the economy.

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RobinHood, WeBull, Others Trading Apps Hit 14 Million Users Globally, Twice More than a Year Ago

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Over the past years, trading apps have revolutionized the way people interact with the world’s financial markets and stock exchanges, making it simple and easy to trade online, whether at home or on the go. The number of people using these apps to make investments and monitor market trends has grown constantly each year, but in 2021 it surged to all-time highs.

According to data presented by BuyShares, RobinHood, WeBull, Fidelity Investments, E*Trade and eToro, as the world’s top five trading apps, doubled the number of users in the last year to nearly 14 million as of July.

RobinHood Hit 7.3M Monthly Active Users, Double the Second-Ranked WeBull

Stock trading has been moving to mobile for quite a while, and tech companies have been working on well-designed trading platforms to provide top-notch service to a new, tech-savvy set of users. That shift first started in the United States, where Robinhood has attracted tens of millions of users. On the other hand, the European market is still fragmented, with a handful of stock-trading apps slowly expanding to new markets.

According to AirNow data, RobinHood is by far the most popular trading app in the world. In July 2020, the app had around 4.3 million monthly active users. However, user numbers spiked in the first half of 2021, reaching a peak of over 9 million in May 2021. In July, around 7.3 million people worldwide used RobinHood to trade and make investments, 70% more than in the same month a year ago.

With 2.7 million monthly active users, or twice less than the leading RobinHood, WeBull ranked as the second most popular trading app globally. However, statistics show WeBull witnessed the biggest growth, with the number of users surging by 265% year-over-year.

Fidelity Investments ranked third with 1.8 million active users, 38% more than in July 2020. Morgan Stanley’s E*Trade and eToro followed, with 1.1 million and 1 million monthly active users, respectively.

RobinHood Reached 11.9M Downloads in 2021, Close to Other Top Four Apps Combined

Stock trading app developers are constantly innovating and adding new features to make portfolio management easier to do on the go. For example, many of the latest-gen trading platforms now feature AI-based tools to help users evaluate investment risks.

Besides having the largest user base, RobinHood also witnessed the biggest number of downloads this year. In the seven months of 2021, the trading app was downloaded 11.6 million times, close to the other top four apps combined, with almost one-third of all downloads happening in January.

WeBull was downloaded 5.6 million times in this period, 2.3 million more than the third-ranked eToro. Fidelity Investments and TD Ameritrade round the top five list, with 1.9 million and 1.2 million downloads, respectively.

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Verve Partners OBMEET To Give Cardholders 50% Discount

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In furtherance of its drive to strengthen the payment landscape across the globe, Africa’s leading payment technology and card business, Verve, has announced its partnership with OBMeet, a video conferencing and networking company, to give Verve cardholders a 50% discount on the platform.

The discount which is currently running till December 31, 2021 avails Verve cardholders added value for the services they enjoy on the OBMeet platform.

With this collaboration, Verve cardholders accessing the OBMeet no longer have to worry about the incidental challenges associated with such video conferencing and multi-streaming platforms, such as complex payment structure, capital flight, inconsistent exchange rates etc.

Speaking on the discount, Cherry Eromosele, Group Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Interswitch Group, said the partnership with OBMeet to reward Verve cardholders with a 50% discount on the selected packages is a demonstration of Verve’s commitment to reward its cardholders’ loyalty.

Eromosele said the firm is stirred to partner with OBMeet because they share a similar vision of delivering an invaluable experience to their esteemed customers.

She explained that the partnership will guarantee Verve cardholders faster and safer payment experiences on the OBMeet platform.

She said: “Consistent with our mantra of being ‘the rewarding way to make payments’, Verve cardholders are not only rewarded with seamless, faster, and convenient payment solutions, but they also enjoy more rewards in discounts as much as 50% on the OBMeet platform, from now till December 31, 2021.”

Vincent Ogbunude, Divisional Head of Verve, commented on the firm’s commitment to delivering top-notch digital payment solutions to Nigerians.

“It is no gainsaying that Verve has consistently delivered innovative payment solutions to Nigerians and the Africa continent.

“We are continuously seeking opportunities to ease payment pain points for Verve cardholders as well as Africans and this partnership with OBMeet is a testament to that commitment.

“We are confident that our cardholders will enjoy seamless payment on the OBMeet platform and the 50% discount offer is added value to the invaluable payment experience the Verve card provides,” he said.

Speaking on the partnership, Emmanuel Gabriel, founder of OBMeet stated that the collaboration is instrumental for companies, institutions, content creators, Small and Medium Enterprise, entrepreneurs to overcome the many challenges of capital flight, complex payment systems inherent in accessing video conferencing and multistreaming platforms.

He said: “Our focus is to give everyone around the world the opportunity to connect, build ideas and express themselves in a new way.

We are focused on creating economic value via the OBMeet communication platforms which bridge communication gaps and language barriers around the world.”

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