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Fintech CEO: Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s Exploratory Process on CBDCs is a Primer on Educating the Public

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Reserver Bank Of New Zealand - Investors King

Yesterday, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand announced that they would be releasing a series of issue papers which explore how New Zealanders pay and save. The papers are set to consider what a “resilient and stable cash and currency system in New Zealand might look like, and how we might best respond to digital innovations in money and payments,” according to Mr Hawkesby, the Reserve Bank’s General Manager of Economics, Financial Markets and Banking.

“Understanding the moods and attitudes of the consuming public is a critical step in building a plan for the future of anything, particularly something as critical as money. Digital innovation, particularly that brought on by blockchain technologies, is most definitely here to stay, but it is important to get a gauge on the comfortability of the public when deciding how best to implement the technologies available. For some countries, there will be a steep educational curve required to implement a CBDC. In others, it will come more naturally. Getting the public educated on the benefits of digital assets is going to be a key part of how successful the rollout will eventually be,” said Richard Gardner, CEO of Modulus, a US-based developer of ultra-high-performance trading and surveillance technology that powers global equities, derivatives, and digital asset exchanges.

According to the Reserve Bank’s release, it aims to “introduce and seek feedback on the broad concepts of money and cash stewardship, and outline specific topics to be covered in the rest of the series. Subsequent papers will look at the potential for a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) to work alongside cash as government-backed money, issues arising from new electronic money forms including crypto assets (such as BitCoin) and stable coins (such as proposed by a Facebook-led consortium), and how the cash system might need to change to continue to meet the needs of users.”

“In countries with a strong value attachment to cash, I think that this exploratory process is really going to pay dividends over the long-term. In certain cultures, and among certain generations, there is a strong desire to hold cash. There are a plethora of reasons for it. Understanding your constituency, and understanding their beliefs and needs, is something that is critical when you ask the public to buy into a concept that is relatively new to them,” offered Gardner.

Modulus is known throughout the financial technology segment as a leader in the development of ultra-high frequency trading systems and blockchain technologies. Over the past twenty years, the company has built technology for the world’s most notable exchanges, with a client list which includes NASA, NASDAQ, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Barclays, Siemens, Shell, Yahoo!, Microsoft, Cornell University, and the University of Chicago.

The release noted, in particular:

While most of us are keen to pay electronically, we know from research we’ve published today, feedback, and news reports that some communities, personal and retail customers are struggling with the loss of cash and in-person banking services despite banks’ efforts to help them adapt.

However, we also know that digital forms of payment are the preferred way of paying for the majority of us, and that the future will undoubtedly involve less cash. Our job is to ensure that these transitions work for all New Zealanders.

The potential for a Central Bank Digital Currency to help address some of the downsides of reducing physical cash use and services is something we want to explore for New Zealand.  A CBDC, similar to digital cash, might well be part of the solution, but we need to test our assessment of the issues and proposed approach before developing any firm proposals.

“Anybody who has ever dealt with cultural change, whether it is in a business, across an industry, or even within a family, knows that nothing is more important to the success of an initiative than getting the buy-in of those involved. Getting buy-in begins with having the conversation about where we need to go. Involving the stakeholders early could allow them to offer solutions which will enhance the eventual rollout and reduce stress on all parties. These issue papers, based on the studies they’re currently running, could be something that other jurisdictions may want to follow and consider replicating,” said Gardner.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Finance

An Uptick in The FAAC Payout

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Naira Exchange Rates - Investors King

The latest gross monthly distribution for the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) to the three tiers of government and public agencies amounted to N990bn in January (from December revenue).

This was an increase of 9.8% or N88.1bn from the previous payout (N902bn recorded in November ’22) and marks the highest FAAC payout recorded in 2022. The increase can be partly attributed to improved non-oil revenue collection. Based on data from the local media, Companies’ Income Tax (CIT), VAT, oil and gas royalties and export duties recorded increases while import duties declined significantly.

The FGN received a total of N375.3bn while state governments received N299.6bn. Furthermore, oil-producing states received an additional N93.5bn representing the 13% derivation for mineral revenue. The headline figure consisted of N707.8bn gross statutory distribution.

This is a month on month increase of 3.9%. Additionally, N233.3bn came into the VAT pool, and N24.3bn from Electronic Money Transfer Levy (EMTL). The total deduction for cost of collection was N31.5bn.

Furthermore, the committee disclosed that the Excess Crude Account (ECA) remained unchanged from the previous month at USD473.7m. Despite elevated oil prices which were above the FGN’s 2022 oil price benchmark (USD73/barrel), the ECA has remained relatively low. In 2014, the ECA was as high as USD4.1bn.

It is worth highlighting that the NNPC made zero contributions to FAAC in 2022, largely due to high fuel subsidy costs. According to the NNPC, the total cumulative subsidy deductions stood at N2.04trn in July ’22 vs N1.5trn spent in 2021. The shortfall in oil revenue was partly offset by relatively higher non-oil revenue collection.

The net FAAC distribution to states and local governments hit the money market last week, as an inflow of N650bn was recorded, which supported market liquidity. We note that the FGN’s share of the FAAC allocation (c.N375bn) is transferred directly to the treasury single account.

To avoid overreliance on FAAC distributions and ensure more resilience against future shocks, state governments need to diversify their revenue base. Unemployment and underemployment continue to cost states billions of naira in forgone revenue through payment of income taxes (PAYE). To boost IGR, states should consider providing incentives for the private sector to support economic activities within their respective states.

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Banking Sector

CBN: New National Domestic Card Will Improve E-payment, Foreign Exchange 

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Godwin Emefiele - Investors King

The newly inaugurated Nigerian National Domestic Card Scheme is aimed at enhancing electronic payment and foreign exchange, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says.

The official launch of the National Domestic Card was done virtually on Thursday, Investors King reports.

Speaking on the benefits of the new domestic card, the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele said it will lessen operating costs, charges and strengthen foreign exchange in Nigeria.

Emefiele stated that the use of the new domestic card is with immediate effect and all local transactions will be done through the card.

His words, “Ladies and gentlemen, at this time when foreign exchange challenges persist globally, it is important that I say that we have come up with this card to ensure that all online transactions will now be effective and immediately begin to go on the Nigerian National Domestic Card system.

“All domestic transactions that are going to be conducted in Nigeria will have to be through the Nigerian domestic cards.”

He pointed out that the apex bank will collaborate with the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc and commercial banks to ensure that only international transactions are accompanied with charges as when done with Visa card or Master Card.

The CBN governor expressed concern over the large number of payments still carried out without cards despite the fact that card payment had been introduced in Nigeria a long time ago.

He highlighted some of the reasons as expensive card services which include charges due to foreign exchange requirements of the international card system and unlocalised cards in existence.

Emefiele averred that the new national domestic card scheme seeks to address these challenges and encourage more card transactions, adding that the card would be accessible to all citizens regardless of locality. 

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Loans

FG Releases List of 94 Approved Online Loan Applications

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Loan - Investors King

Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, FCCPC under the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment has assented to 94 online loan applications for operation in Nigeria.

Investors King reports that out of the 94 approved digital money lender companies in Nigeria, 49 companies were fully approved while the other 45 firms were issued conditional approval.

Google, in November 2022 threatened in its new policy to delete all unlicensed Nigerian loan apps from the Google play store by January 31, 2023, Investors King recalls.

Every loan app is required to tender their documents from the FCCPC which is saddled with the responsibility of safeguarding the interest and ensuring the well-being of consumers.

According to the FCCPC update on the registration of online loan applications which is still ongoing, the licensing is necessary to curb the menace of extortion by loan sharks. 

The Commission explained that the regulatory framework and guidelines for the digital lenders companies were earmarked in partnership with the Joint Task Force (JTF) aimed at ensuring fairness and advantageous alternative lending opportunities for the citizens. 

In the Commission’s laid down guidelines, the lending company will register with the FCCPC and fill two forms– Form DLG 001 and Form DLG 002.

“Form DLG OO1 is the registration form that requires the applicant company to provide identification and operational information to the FCCPC.

“The Form DLG 002 contains declarations relating to: Legitimacy; Compliance with applicable regulatory requirements; Lawful source of funds and conformity with anti-money laundering; and Data protection laws,” it stated.

As outlined by the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), the listed companies below have gotten the full approval of the commission—

  1. TRADE DEPOT  
  2. TAJOW INVESTMENT 
  3. BLUE RIDGE MICROFINANCE BANK LIMITED 
  4. GROLATECH CREDIT LIMITED 
  5. BRANCH INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL SERVICES LIMITED 
  6. P2VEST TECHNOLOGY LIMITED 
  7. CREDITWAVE FINANCE LIMITED 
  8. KEENEST TECH SERVICE LIMITED 
  9. FAIRMONEY MICRO FINANCE BANK 
  10. ALTRACRED FINANCE INVESTIMENT LIMITED 
  11. CREVANCE CREDIT LIMITED 
  12. MENACRED COMPANY LIMITED 
  13. AFROWIDE DEVELOPMENT LTD 
  14. RED PLANET NIGERIA LIMITED 
  15. AFROFIRST MOBILE AND TECHNOLOGY COMPANY LIMITED 
  16. RANKCAPITALS LIMITED 
  17. IBS GOLDEN INVESTMENT COMPANY LIMITED 
  18. LENDVISERY SERVICES LIMITED 
  19. CREDITWAVE FINANCE LIMITED 
  20. RENMONEY MICROFINANCE BANK LIMITED 
  21. SWIPEBILL TECHNOLOGIES NIGERIA LIMITED. 
  22. HOMETOWN FINTECH LIMITED 
  23. GIASUN TECHNOLOGY NIGERIA LIMITED 
  24. BE RESOURCES LIMITED 
  25. ROCKIT LENDERS NIGERIA LIMITED 
  26. PIVO TECHNOLOGY LIMIED 
  27. YES CREDIT COMPANY LIMITED 
  28. FUBRIL CENTURY LIMITED 
  29. IRORUN TECHNOLOGIES LIMITED 
  30. CSENSE LIMITED 
  31. SUPREME HELP COOPERATIVE SOCIETY LIMITED 
  32. ORCOM AND ORCOM BUSSINESS SUPORT LIMITED 
  33. PAYHIPPO LIMITED. 
  34. EASYCHECK FINANCE INVESTMENT LIMITED 
  35. QUARK FINANCIAL NIGERIA LIMITED 
  36. EDMOND SOLUTIONS COMPANY LIMITED 
  37. TED ROCKET LIMITED 
  38. PENAID LIMITED 
  39. ARVE LIMITED 
  40. DOVER CREDIT LIMITED 
  41. RAGEKAY GLOBAL INVESTMENT LIMITED 
  42. MAYWOOD LENDING LIMITED 
  43. LINKPARK TECHNOLOGY NIGERIA LIMITED 
  44. MANGNET LENDING LIMITED 
  45. RUBYSTAR GLOBAL LIMITED 
  46. BESTFIN NIGERIA LIMITED 
  47. FUBRI CENTURY COMPANY LIMITED 
  48. BERLY SPRING GLOBAL LIMITED 
  49. SYCAMORE INTEGRATED SOLUTIONS LIMITED 

While those companies on conditional approval since they are yet to fulfil some requirements are:

  1. TRIPPDBASE LIMITED 
  2. BLACKCOPPER SERVICE  
  3. OWOAFAR FINTECH SERVICE 
  4. PAYLATER HUB 
  5. WINDVILLE FINANCIAL NIGERIA LIMITED 
  6. AFROFIRST MOBILE AND TECHNOLOGY COMPANY LIMITED 
  7. ORCOM AND ORCOM BUSINESS SUPPORT LIMITED 
  8. OTP INTERNET TECHNOLOGY LTD 
  9. RED HARBOR FINTECH LIMITED 
  10. BERYL SPRING GLOBAL LIMITED 
  11. HOMETOWN FINTECH LIMITED 
  12. AJAX LENDING LIMITED 
  13. RACEOVA NIG. LIMITED 
  14. LANTANA TECHNOLOGY LIMITED 
  15. THE PLATFORM DIGITAL NETWORK LIMITED 
  16. ZIPPY CAPITAL LIMITED 
  17. NEO-LINK TECHNOLOGY LIMITED 
  18. TRIPOBASE LIMITED 
  19. BESTFIN NIGERIA LIMITED 
  20. POCKETFUEL FINANCE LIMITED 
  21. LENDING EDGE LIMITED 
  22. TED ROCKET LIMITED 
  23. PENAID LIMITED 
  24. ALTARA CREDIT LIMITED 
  25. NEW CREDAGE NIGERIA LIMITED 
  26. LENDHA TECHNOLOGIES LIMITED 
  27. DOJA LEMAIRE GLOBAL LIMITED 
  28. PAYDAYHUB ONLINE NIGERIA LIMITED 
  29. RETAIL BOOSTER LIMITED 
  30. FINNEW FINTECH LIMITED 
  31. FEZOTECH NIGERIA LIMITED 
  32. ORANGE LOAN & PURPLE CREDIT LIMITED 
  33. CITADELE CAPITALS LIMITED 
  34. FEWCHORE FINANCE COMPANY LIMITED 
  35. A1 CAPITAL SOLUTION LIMITED 
  36. ONE PAYOUT LIMITED 
  37. LINKPARK TECHNOLOGY NIGERIA LIMITED 
  38. LIDYA GLOBAL LIMITED 
  39. PHOENIX PAYMENT SOLUTIONS LIMITED 
  40. RED PLANET NIGERIA LIMITED 
  41. KWABA INTERNATIONAL LIMITED. 
  42. MAYWOOD LENDING LIMITED. 
  43. PRINCEPS CREDIT SYSTEM LIMITED 
  44. LINKPARK TECHNOLOGY NIGERIA LIMITED 
  45. FINPADI TECHNOLOGIES LIMITED 

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