Connect with us

Banking Sector

Fintech CEO: Brazil in Unique Situation as it Considers CBDC Future



Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) - Investors King

Recently, Central Bank of Brazil Director João Manoel Pinho de Mello announced at a panel discussion that the country would see a migration to digital payments over the next few years. This would involve a CBDC, Valor Economico reported. While noting that care must be taken to get the process right, CBDCs can help expand the banked population while mitigating the use of digital currencies promoted by other nations, thus protecting the national interest.

“Brazil is in an interesting situation because they really are an economic leader in the region. Brazil, more than, perhaps, most countries, can afford to take their time and ensure they develop quality technology that delivers the intended results. It sounds as though they are just as focused on education and adoption as they are on the technology, and I think that’s something that’s going to be critical when we look back and discuss the winners and losers of this technological and financial revolution,” 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.

“As a fintech CEO, you might think that I’m all about the technology. And, having the best technology is important. I’ve spent a whole career working to ensure that our technology was on the cutting-edge of what’s possible. But, what’s important to understand about technology is — it doesn’t matter how good your technology is if it isn’t used properly, or, in the case of a CBDC, at all. The citizenry really needs to buy-in and adopt their nation’s CBDC in order for the development to be effective and worthwhile,” said Gardner.

“We understand that the use of CBDC will occur in situations where it is able to bring greater efficiency and transparency to transactions, whether from the retail perspective or its use by agents that make up the financial and payments industry,” said Mello. The central bank added that “[a]ccording to the current BCB assessment, the conditions for the adoption of a Brazilian CBDC will be achieved in two to three years.”

“Adoption. That’s something that some countries seem to be putting more emphasis on than others. New Zealand, in particular, seems very intent on making sure that their citizenry is educated on the benefits of a CBDC and that they will be willing to, by and large, adopt it once it is launched. Building the technology is a major hurdle. But getting the populace to buy-in will be just as big a lift. It is smart to begin to plan for the implementation now,” said Gardner.

“This isn’t really different from any public policy or business initiative. The innovation is only as good as the implementation. It doesn’t matter if you develop a new recycling program if the public isn’t trained on how to utilize it properly. That was a big issue surrounding single-stream recycling. It doesn’t matter if you build a new stadium if the people won’t attend the games. I think that the education component of launching a CBDC could, realistically, take years. So, when you look at Brazil’s timeline and their word choice – that the ‘conditions for adoption’ will be achieved within two to three years… I think that’s a fair statement,” said 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.

“When I talk about how the race to develop a CBDC is akin to this generation’s Race to Space, in some ways that race isn’t even about building the technology. You may be the fastest to build the technology, but if your populace is the slowest to adopt it, then you’re no longer first,” said Gardner. “This is where having a strong culture of innovation and technological advancements will be helpful. For countries that are going to need help in that arena, they really can’t start discussing the process and the benefits of digital currencies soon enough.”

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

Continue Reading

Banking Sector

85.51 Million Nigerian Bank Customers Face Withdrawal Freeze Over NIN, BVN Deadline



First Bank

As the March 1 deadline looms, an estimated 85.51 million Nigerian bank customers are facing the possibility of frozen accounts due to their failure to link their National Identification Numbers (NINs) and/or Bank Verification Numbers (BVNs) to their accounts.

Recent findings reveal the potential scale of the impending banking crisis.

Data from the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) indicates that Nigeria had approximately 146 million active individual bank customers as of December 2022.

However, by January 26, 2024, only 60.49 million BVNs were recorded on the NIBSS portal, leaving a significant portion unlinked.

Meanwhile, about 104 million NINs had been issued by December 2023, highlighting the disparity between NIN issuance and BVN linkage.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had earlier issued directives to banks, mandating them to restrict transactions on accounts lacking linked NINs and BVNs, with effect from March 1, 2024.

Any accounts found non-compliant risk being designated as ‘Post no Debit,’ rendering them unable to process further transactions.

Responding to the impending crisis, the Director-General of the National Identification Management Commission (NIMC), Abisoye Coker-Odusote, emphasized the need for the revalidation of Front-End Partners (FEPs) to ensure the integrity of the identity database.

She underscored the importance of NIN registration and urged collaboration with various stakeholders to expedite the process.

The Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr. Aminu Maida, reiterated the significance of linking NINs to SIM cards to enhance national security.

Telecom subscribers were urged to comply with the NIN-SIM linkage directive to avoid service disruptions.

Meanwhile, financial service providers like Opay have issued reminders of the impending restrictions, urging customers to comply with the linkage requirements.

Amidst concerns, some customers contemplate transferring funds to compliant accounts to avoid potential financial setbacks.

As the deadline approaches, stakeholders are intensifying efforts to mitigate the impact of the impending banking crisis on millions of Nigerians.

Continue Reading

Banking Sector

Central Bank of Nigeria Injects Over $300 Million to Stabilize Naira-Dollar Exchange Rate




In a bid to mitigate the continuous depreciation of the naira against the dollar, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has injected over $300 million into the foreign exchange market.

This move comes amidst concerns over the instability of the naira-dollar exchange rate, which has seen rates soar as high as N1850/$ in recent trading sessions.

The Association of Corporate Treasurers of Nigeria revealed the CBN’s intervention in an advisory memo to its members, highlighting the significant injections made over the past two weeks.

The memo underscores the urgency to address the steep decline in the value of the naira, which has posed challenges to businesses and individuals alike.

The CBN’s proactive measures signal a concerted effort to stabilize the forex market and restore confidence in the domestic currency.

The injection of funds aims to provide liquidity and alleviate pressure on the naira, which has experienced rapid depreciation in recent weeks.

Market analysts anticipate that the CBN’s intervention will help mitigate the volatility of the naira-dollar exchange rate, providing relief to businesses and consumers grappling with the economic uncertainties.

The move reflects the CBN’s commitment to maintaining stability in the forex market and fostering economic growth amidst challenging times.

Continue Reading

Banking Sector

FBN Holdings Surpasses GTCO, Zenith Bank to Become Nigeria’s Most Valuable Bank



Femi Otedola

FBN Holdings has emerged as Nigeria’s most valuable bank, surpassing Guaranty Trust Holding Company (GTCO) and Zenith Bank in terms of market capitalization.

At the close of trading on Monday, FBN Holdings achieved a market capitalization of N1.22 trillion, solidifying its position at the forefront of the banking sector.

The bank’s market cap is now higher than GTCO’s N1.16 trillion and Zenith Bank’s N1.11 trillion.

The surge in FBN Holdings’ market capitalization represents a 56.68% increase since Femi Otedola assumed the role of chairman on January 31st.

Otedola’s stewardship has been instrumental in driving FBN Holdings’ exponential growth.

Since he was appointed a non-executive director in August 2023 and subsequent ratification by shareholders, his leadership has been characterized by strategic decision-making and investor confidence.

Holdings’ shares have risen from N21.70 to N34 under his chairmanship, representing a significant boost for investors and shareholders.

The market’s positive response to Otedola’s leadership underscores the importance of effective governance and visionary leadership in driving financial performance and investor value.

Minority shareholders have expressed optimism about Otedola’s impact on dividend payments and capital appreciation, highlighting his track record of prioritizing shareholder interests in his previous roles.

FBN Holdings’ ascent to the top spot signals a new era of growth and stability for the bank, setting the stage for continued success in Nigeria’s dynamic financial landscape.

As the banking sector navigates evolving market conditions, FBN Holdings’ position at the pinnacle reflects its resilience and adaptability in driving sustainable value for stakeholders.

Continue Reading