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CBN Granted Order To Freeze Trove, Bamboo, Others Accounts For 180 days

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A federal high court in Abuja has granted the request of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to freeze accounts of six fintech companies.

The companies include that Rise Vest Technologies Limited, Bamboo Systems Technology Limited, Bamboo Systems Technology Limited OPNS, Chaka Technologies Limited, CTL/Business Expenses, and Trove Technologies Limited.

In a court paper accessed by the News agency TheCable on Tuesday, the apex bank said it is investigating “illegal foreign exchange trading” by the fintech companies.

It sought the court injunction to freeze their account details for 180 days pending the completion of investigations.

In April, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) warned the investing public on the proliferation of unregistered online investment and trading platforms, facilitating access to trading in securities listed in foreign markets according to a report by The whistler.

The regulator had advised capital market operators who work in concert with the referenced online platforms to desi

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has granted an exparte motion which sought temporary freezing of bank accounts belonging to certain online investment and trading platforms where Nigerians are transacting business online.

The motion was filed by Chief Micheal Kaase Aondoakaa, SAN, on behalf of the Central Bank Of Nigeria Governor for the purpose of probing the defendants’ financial activities in Nigeria.

Defendants are Rise Vest Technologies Limited, Bamboo Systems Technology Limited, Bamboo Systems Tech. Ltd OPNS, Chaka Technologies Limited, CTL/Business Expenses and Trove Technologies Limited.

The CBN alleged that Rise Vest Technologies Limited, Bamboo Systems Technology Limited, Chaka Technologies Limited, and Trove Technologies Limited were complicit in operating without a license as asset management companies “and utilizing FX sourced from the Nigerian FX market for purchasing foreign bonds/shares in contravention of the CBN circular referenced TED/FEM/FPC/GEN/01/012, dated July 01, 2015.”

Aondoakaa told Justice Ahmed Mohammed that the foreign exchange deals done with the defendants were part of what was making the Naira weaker to the United States dollars, hence, the need to block 15 of their accounts for about 180 days.

Part of the motion reads: “An Interim Order of this Honorable Court empowering the Plaintiff/ Applicant to direct the Head Offices of ZENITH BANK PLC (Churchgate Street, Victoria Island, Lagos), GUARANTY TRUST BANK PLC (Plot 635, Akin Adesola, Victoria Island, STANDARD CHARTERED BANK (142, Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island, Lagos.), ACCESS BANK OF NIGERIA (999c, Danmole Street, Off ldejo Street, Off Adetola Odeku Street, Victoria Island, Lagos), VFD MICROFINANCE BANK (Elephant House. 5, Floor, 214 Broad Street, Marina Island, Lagos), to freeze forthwith all the bank accounts of the Defendants/ Respondents for a period of 180 days pending the outcome of investigation and inquiry conducted by the CBN.”

According to an affidavit filed by a Senior Supervisor of the CBN, Christiana Gyang, the apex bank had reviewed the activities of the defendants to determine their alleged involvement in illegal foreign exchange (FX) dealings.

She stated that the investigation showed that the platforms were violating Nigeria’s trading laws.

It says, “Rise Vest Technologies Limited was Incorporated In October 2018 with objects of technological and business consultancy. The shareholders of the company at incorporation were Eke Eleanya Urum and Rise Vast Technologies Limited (USA). The company partners with companies involved in payments and settlements as well as internal and international remittances.

“However, information on the company’s website indicated that it is an asset management company, which provides a platform for customers to invest in foreign instruments using an app called “Risevest”.

“Our review revealed that the company consummated its asset management activities through its account 1017556580 with Zenith Bank Plc, which recorded a turnover of 1.97 billion between January 1, 2019, and April 27, 2021.

” Inflows to the account were mainly from retail investors through two Payment Service Solution Providers (PSSPe): Flutterwave (588.61 million) and Monnify (N967.58 million).

“Outflows from the account were to a PSSP – Paystack (500 00 million) and cryptocurrency traders Ike BuyCoins (N110.00 million) and Beltlum Venture (N350.00 million). Inquiries on the transactions confirmed that the transfers to Buy coins were for the purchase of cryptocurrency.

“The above is indicative that Rise Vest Technologies Limited traded in cryptocurrencies in contravention of the CBN circular referenced BSD/DIR/PUB/LAB/014/001, dated February 5 2021.”

The motion added that “Bamboo Systems Technology Limited is owned by US-based Bamboo Global LLC (99.99%) and Oluwole Raiph Olugbenga (0.01%).

“The company was incorporated in December 2018 to carry on the business of software design, implementation, development, maintenance and consultancy amongst others. It is related to One Global Med. Technology, BSTL Lambeth and Grag Concepts Limited.

“Further reviews showed that Bamboo Systems Technology Limited operates an online App, “Bamboo”, that provides a medium for investors to buy and sell stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), Index funds and derivatives listed in major exchanges in the U.S.”

Furthermore, Aondoakaa told the judge that the CBN was worried about how monies were going out of the country.

“We need to write the Embassy, we need to go to the Foreign Affairs….the Minister will serve the US to seek assistance so that we can block these linkages,” the lawyer added.

In his ruling, Justice Ahmed said “having listened to senior counsel to the applicant, on the motion Exparte filed in August, it is granted as prayed”

He said that any person who feels aggrieved about the freezing order is entitled to approach the court within the period so as to seek redress.

He then adjourned the matter to February 20, 2022, for hearing.

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OPay, Paga, Others Makes CB Insights List of Promising Fintech Startups 2022

Nigerian-owned fintech startups, OPay, Paga and TeamApt make the annual CB Insights 250 list of promising fintech startups for 2022.

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Nigerian-owned fintech startups, OPay, Paga and TeamApt make the annual CB Insights 250 list of promising fintech startups for 2022.

In the annual list, The Fintech 250, which comprises of 250 most promising private fintech companies in the world, OPay was ranked fourth out of the six African Fintech startups that made the list, with total funding of $570 million.

Paga and TeamApt with total funding of $38 million and $58 million were listed fifth and sixth, respectively

Jumo, a leading South Africa mobile payments company for banks and network operators, came first with $267 million. KuCoin, a cryptocurrency exchange platform registered in Seychelles, with $180 million in total funding was ranked second on the list of six most promising African fintech startups.

MFS Africa, a fintech company that connects service providers and customers in South Africa, with $281 million total estimated funding.

According to CB Insights, this year’s winners were chosen based on factors like proprietary Mosaic scores, funding, market potential, business relationships, investor profile, news sentiment analysis, competitive landscape, team strength, and tech novelty.

In addition, the report also noted that factors such as rising inflation, interest rate hikes, and struggling public tech stocks have made it more difficult for new and emerging fintech startups to make a dent in the already maturing fintech market.

OPay, Nigeria-Chinese owned most capitalised firm on the list, raised the most money but factors like the high inflation rate of 20.52%, interest rate of 15.5% and a weak local currency impacted the company’s ranking on the list. 

The same goes for MFS Africa, ranked below Jumo and KuCoin.

Paga is a leading mobile money company that is building an ecosystem to enable people to digitally send and receive money, and creating simple financial access for everyone.

TeamApt is Nigeria’s largest business payments platform, supporting over 400,000 businesses to get paid; processing $100 billion annualized run-rate transaction value, via its products – Moniepoint and Monnify.

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Sofri Partners CarePay to Commemorate Independence Day with Discounted Healthcare Services

Sofri partners with CarePay to offer discounts up to 37.5% on healthcare services

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Sofri, a financial product of Links Microfinance Bank (member, DLM Capital Group), in partnership with CarePay, a healthcare fintech in commemoration of Nigeria’s 62nd. Independence celebration is offering Nigerians, discounts up to 37.5% on healthcare services.  

In partnership with CarePay, Sofri will provide all its Mastercard debit card users up to 37.5% discounts at over 300 CarePay healthcare provider locations across Nigeria. Some of the participating healthcare providers include MedPlus, HealthPlus, Synlab, Smile 360 Dental, Reddington Hospital Group, Outreach Hospital Group, Lily Hospital Group, Paelon memorial, Subol hospital, Bee-Hees Hospital, Exclusive Dental, Amara Medicare, Shield specialist hospitals, Pure Snow Dental, Bethel Dental, Optilens eye clinic and many more.

The Managing Director, Funsho Idowu, stated that the discounted healthcare services are part of the corporate social responsibility initiative of Sofri towards fostering increased accessibility and affordability of healthcare services for Nigerians. “It is very disheartening to find that many Nigerians cannot afford the healthcare services they need so we have partnered with CarePay to offer our Sofri Mastercard debit cardholders up to 37.5%discount on the CarePay discount card preferred provider network beginning from 1st October. This is a bold CSR project for our brand, and we are committed to making a significant impact on the healthcare and wellbeing of our customers.

CarePay’s Managing Director, Yomi Sule, remarked that the brand is delighted to work with Sofri to offer Nigerians affordable healthcare services in celebration of Nigeria’s Independence. “There is no minimum spend and requirement and the discounts apply to all services and medical products offered by the healthcare merchants,” he further explained.

To access the offer, customers must download the Sofri app, sign up for a Sofri debit card, and visit the brand’s social media (@banksofri) to access the list of CarePay healthcare merchant locations they can visit around them.

Sofri offers loans, savings, investment, and payment services to all Nigerians.  CarePay’s healthcare discount business model allows financial services enterprises to embed healthcare benefits such as discounts, cashbacks, and telehealth into their value proposition to drive affordability of healthcare services for their customers and brand loyalty for the enterprises.

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Multi-channel Payments Platform Interswitch Unveils ‘Quickteller Transport’ to Enrich Commuters Travel Experience

Interswitch has added ‘Quickteller Transport’ to its arrays of innovative services to enrich travelers’ booking experiences.

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African integrated payments and digital commerce platform company Interswitch has added ‘Quickteller Transport’ to its arrays of innovative services to enrich travelers’ booking experiences.

This new feature will enable users to easily search and book inter-state trips from multiple travel operators across Nigeria.

Users will also be able to filter their search to specific or preferred operators, compare fares based on criteria such as vehicle type, departure point, and time, as well as access specialized functions provided by transport operators, including seat selection and preferred pick-up location option, all at their convenience.

Speaking at the launch, the MD of Interswitch Industry Ecosystems Division, Chinyere Don-Okhuofu disclosed that the ‘Quickteller Transport’ feature is another innovative step taken by the company in its commitment to continuously provide its customers with convenient access to lifestyle and payment services.

In her words, “Transportation is a necessary aspect of human life, enabling both social and economic interactions. In keeping with our culture of driving innovation and positively impacting consumer lifestyle in the society, we developed our Quickteller Transport service to provide added travel booking and payment convenience to our over 5 million customers.

“Built as a multimodal offering, we will be rolling it out to include other travel and transportation modes such as trains and ferries, working with operators across Nigeria.

“We are ecstatic to be launching this service. And as we launch our suite of new complementary services, Quickteller customers can be assured of our commitment to providing an excellent experience using Quickteller to access all their lifestyle and payment needs.”

Quickteller Transport is already embedded as a service on the Quickteller Web and Mobile app and is available for use by both new and existing Quickteller customers.

What Interswitch intends to achieve with the newly launched feature is to leverage technology in enabling the process of booking for transport and making payment seamless. The platform is robust and inclusive such that it caters to the needs of both the government and private companies.

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