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Flutterwave Involved in Another Fresh Trial in Kenya



Flutterwave acquires Disha

Nigerian Fintech firm Flutterwave has been reported to be involved in another fresh trial in Kenya, weeks after its first case was closed.

Reports disclose that about $3 million of its money that was seized in the second government seizure over money laundering and fraud claims remains frozen, in two banks, and 19 mobile money accounts (M-pesa pay bill numbers), which is currently presented before Kenya’s high court.

The $3 million funds seizure reportedly occurred last year in August, less than two months after a Kenyan court froze $52.5 in 62 accounts linked to Flutterwave and six other companies that were the recipients of wire transfers from the fintech firm.

The companies affected include Boxtrip Travel and Tours Limited, Adguru Technology Limited, Bagtrip travels limited, Elivalat Fintech limited, Hupesi solutions, Cruz Ride Auto limited, and Mr. Simon Karanja Ngige.

Court documents revealed that investigations carried out by the country’s Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) pointed at Flutterwave as the main player in the alleged laundering scheme, as it wired money to these firms after receiving funds from foreign entities.

ARA alleged that Flutterwave concealed the nature of its business by allegedly providing a payment service platform with authorization from the Central bank of Kenya.

At the time, Flutterwave denied wrongdoing and said that all the transactions in question were verifiable. The case was however closed and $52.5 million was released after the ARA formally withdrew the case. Funds belonging to Flutterwave and its co-accused were released by the court.

Flutterwave welcomed the withdrawal of claims against the company by the Asset Recovery Agency (ARA). Meanwhile, recent reports reveal that although the Kenyan court released the funds after the close of the initial case, Flutterwave is still yet to access the funds.

In the second case, where Flutterwave, Adguru, and Hupesi solutions are the respondents, Kenyan High court judge Esther Maina set the next mention for March 23. While some parties predict that the case is unlikely to proceed to a full hearing, Flutterwave remains uncleared by the courts, delaying its prospects of getting a license to operate in Kenya.

The fintech company and African unicorn have faced a string of controversies over the last year including claims of harassment, funds misappropriation, and mismanagement, Investors King understands.

Last month, the fintech firm debunked the news that it was involved in a hack that resulted in more than ₦2.9 billion ($4.2 million) missing from its accounts. The company further issued a statement that confirm that no user lost any funds, noting that it takes pride in the fact that its security measures were able to address the issue before any harm could be done to its users.

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Opay Expresses Appreciation to Millions of Users Over Increased Usage of Its Platform



Opay halts business units

Nigerian fintech platform Opay has recently expressed appreciation to its millions of users over the increased usage of its platform in the last 3 months.

The payment and financial service company disclosed that its customer base crossed over 30 million registered app users, as well as 500,000 agents and 100,000 merchants.

Expressing appreciation to users and merchants, the company said, “We express our appreciation to over 30 million registered app users 500,000 agents, and 100,000 merchants who use Opay daily to make transactions and ultimately spread OPay’s mission of shared prosperity to all”.

Opay is reported to have gained widespread adoption in the past three months by individuals and merchants, following the failure of several traditional bank apps that prompted a lot of Nigerians to resort to various fintech startups to carry out transactions.

The naira redesign and subsequent cash shortage made digital banking more challenging for Nigerians. Increased reliance on banking apps and USSD platforms negatively impacted bank performance, putting strain on the already unsteady infrastructure of digital banking. This saw bank transfers often take longer than usual and failed transactions take up to five days or more to be resolved. 

According to findings by Investors King, it was discovered that among several fintechs used by Nigerians for transactions, Opay is said to be the most widely used due to how seamless it is in receiving and sending funds. On social media, the app has seen a lot of positive PR among Nigerian users.

A large percentage of users disclosed that with Opay, they do not have to worry about network issues as the app is always available 24/7. The app has been lauded for offering relief to Nigerians, especially at a time of unprecedented transaction failure. 

Aside from its swift transaction process, Opay also offers users various flexible savings tools to users, in which they get to enjoy up to 18% annual interest and get expert financial management to help them reach their goals faster when they bank with the platform.

It is interesting to note that the fintech startup is licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria CBN, insured by the NDIC, and trusted by over 18 million users. OPay is a leading mobile money (MMO) and financial technology platform in Nigeria. The mobile payment operation focuses on reaching the massive unbanked population of Nigeria.

It was reported to be the fastest African startup to cross a $1 billion valuation mark and has continued to create the perfect recipe for a thriving fintech sector. OPay went from a popular startup with commercial motorcycles in Lagos, Nigeria, to a financial services company worth $2 billion. The startup’s mission is to make financial services more inclusive with technology.

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Central Bank of Nigeria Approves 17 Fintechs as Mobile Money Operators in Nigeria



POS Business in Nigeria

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has granted licenses to 17 fintech startups to provide mobile money services in Nigeria.

The recent frustrations experienced by bank customers following the failure of several traditional bank apps as well as USSD codes have spurred a lot of Nigerians to resort to various fintech startups to carry out transactions.

These fintechs no doubt offered relief to Nigerians especially businesses at the time of unprecedented transaction failures by enabling the swift transfer of funds coupled with various juicy offers such as zero transfer charges, bonuses, daily rewards, etc.

Having noticed the large percentage of Nigerians using various fintechs to carry out daily transactions, the Central Bank of Nigeria deemed it fit to authorize fintech operators with existing facilities in order to better regulate them and ensure that citizens putting their hard-earned money in the hands of approved and trusted fintech operators.

The CBN also released a regulatory framework for agent banking operations, which includes several restrictions to mitigate risks in the financial sector.

In a 31-page document, the CBN dedicated section 8.3 to outline prohibited activities for agents. Investors King reports that one of the key restrictions in the guidelines is that agents must not use the purchase option on PoS terminals for cash-in and cash-out transactions.

The CBN also warned agents against transactions where a receipt or acknowledgment cannot be generated. The CBN observed that the agent banking initiative has led to the proliferation of financial service agents across Nigeria.

Check Out The CBN List of Approved Mobile Money Operators in Nigeria

1.) PalmPay

PalmPay is a fintech company that offers digital payment services for consumers and merchants. The fintech startup specializes in digital finance and also provides payment experience for consumers and businesses by making financial services. Their app is their formal financial account, and they build an online and offline payments ecosystem that brings digital products from marketplaces.

2.) Kongapay

Konga Pay is a secure payment method that allows its customers to pay for stuff without using debit cards. It works by Konga’s e-commerce technology integrating with the internet banking portals of major Nigerian banks.

3.) Xpress MTS Limited

Xpress MTS Limited is a subsidiary of Xpress holdings limited, which was granted a mobile money operator license by the CBN last year October. The fintech startup is building an ecosystem to enable people to digitally send and receive money with ease while creating simple financial access for everyone everywhere.

4.) Pagatech Limited

Pagatech Limited operates as a mobile payment company. The Company offers mobile payment services that enable users to send cash, purchase airtime credit, pay bills, and pay retailers. Pagatech serves customers in Nigeria.

5.) Abeg Technologies

Abeg Technologies is a mobile payment application that offers to pay bills, buy airtime, and send and receive money digitally. Abeg fully changed its name to “Pocket by Piggyvest” to emphasize its transition from a money transfer service to a social commerce platform (PocketApp).

6.) Chams Mobile Limited

Chams mobile limited is a fintech startup that is licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to provide Mobile Money Operations and Agency Banking services. The startup has a special savings wallet KEGOW that allows special savings, debit cards, and thrifts. The wallet is also available for individuals and businesses.

7.) Fortis Mobile Money

Fortis Mobile Money is licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to provide mobile payment services in Nigeria. It also provides a mobile wallet solution in Nigeria. Users can send/receive money, buy airtime for telecom lines, and make purchases at partner stores such as supermarkets, pharmacies, restaurants, hotels, etc from the wallet. They can pay bills and recharge cable TV subscriptions. Also allows them to book and pay for road transport.

8.) Parkway Projects Limited

Parkway is a leading financial technology provider creating modern banking experiences, proudly developed by Africans and delivered through Africa’s leading banks to businesses and individuals across the continent. Parkway provides simple, intuitive, end-to-end corporate, retail, and transaction banking solutions.

9.) Teasy mobile money

Teasy Mobile Money is a mobile financial platform, offering a virtual wallet to load money by visiting an agent location. Teasy Mobile Money serves in the B2C and B2B space in the FinTech market segments. Teasy Mobile Money’s competitors include Flutterwave, Interswitch, Nuvei, and OPay. Teasy Mobile Money ranks 29th among 50 active competitors.

10.) Nownow Digital Payments

NowNow Digital Payment Systems Ltd provides financial services to Consumers, Agents, and SMES. The company is licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria as a mobile Solutions Provider. NowNow is on a mission to help Africans get access to financial services.

11.) VTNetwork Limited

VTNetwork, which is doing business as VCASH, is a CBN-licensed payment operator that provides International money transfer services in Nigeria. The startup allows users to transfer money locally and internationally within capabilities in 140 countries.

12.) Opay

OPay is licensed by CBN, insured by the NDIC, and trusted by over 18 million users. The startup enables users to accomplish more with their money by providing smart financial services. OPay is a mobile money platform with an extensive range of services that merchants can offer to their clients. The goal of the company is to help unbanked people.

13.) Visual ICT Limited

Visual ICT Limited is a fast-growing Fintech Startup and a Mobile Financial Services Provider licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria to provide Mobile money services. Visual ICT works with all players in the financial services arena including the Central Bank of Nigeria, Commercial Banks, Telecommunications Operators, Technology Vendors, and Financial Services Applications Developers as well as Prepaid Bill Issuers and Switching Companies.

14.) Mkudi Nigeria Limited

M Kudi Nigeria Limited was established in 2009 for the exclusive purpose of providing Mobile Money Transfer Services to the Nigerian Public. M Kudi allows both unbanked and banked personnel to send money via their mobile device across Nigeria. Since going live, Mkudi has been building its partner network to include banks, telecommunication operators, and a robust, trustworthy Agent Network.

15.) Hedonmark Management Services

Hedonmark is a fintech startup that allows users to make payments from the comfort of their homes or on the go. It is also a solution provider, proffering professional and reliable back-office management solutions to small, medium, and corporate clients.

16.) Funds and Electronic Transfer (FETS) Limited

Funds & Electronic Transfer Solutions Limited is a Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) licensed mobile money operator. It has an online e-wallet system that offers easy money transfer, bill payment, top-up airtime, and other mobile payment services.

17.) eTranzact International Limited

eTranzact is Africa’s premier e-payments solution provider delivering electronic transaction switching and payment processing solutions across POS, web, mobile, ATMs, and Cards.

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Central Bank of Nigeria Grants Microfinance Bank License to Ten Digital Banks



Digital Banks in Nigeria - Investors King

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has recently granted licenses to ten (10) digital banks offering services in the country.

While these digital banks could be lumped as FinTech due to the similarities in their service offerings, they operate under different license categories issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). With payment at the core of these Digital banks, many of them would like to do more, hence, to pursue this aspiration, several of them have acquired microfinance banking (MFB) licenses.

Unlike the regular commercial bank license, the MFB licenses are a low-cost quick fix for digital banks. It allows them to accept deposits and provide lending services, the most basic banking services. 

Investors King understands that a microfinance bank (MFB) license is the most commonly used license for the purpose of digital banking in Nigeria. The MFB license enables the holder to receive deposits and grant loans to its customers.

For many Digital banks, an MFB license is important, which has seen a large number of them acquire MFB licenses over the last few years. The MFB license also serves as a quick fix for Digital banks looking to offer some banking services but are unable to raise the ₦25 billion ($59.5 million) required to secure a commercial bank license.

It is however pertinent for individuals to know the status of most digital banks as regards their license before trusting them with their funds. This step shouldn’t be overlooked due to the fact that a lot of digital banks operating in the country today are illegal which can spell doom for customers in the long run.

Check Out The List of Ten (10) Digital Banks Granted Microfinance Bank Licenses by the CBN

1.) Piggyvest

Launched in 2016 just as a savings product, Piggyvest which is a CBN-Licensed microfinance bank has morphed into more than just a savings platform and is growing into a robust financial management platform with many products planned for the next few years. Piggyvest operated in partnership with 2 Microfinance banks and used their licenses. However, in early 2018, the startup acquired Gold Microfinance bank and its license.

2.) Moniepoint

CBN-Licensed microfinance bank Moniepoint is one of Nigeria’s leading financial solutions providers, formerly known as TeamApt. Moniepoint is a community-based bank with its services powered by Moniepoint MFB Limited, a Microfinance bank duly licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). In 2022, Moniepoint MFB was also awarded by the CBN as the most inclusive payment platform in the country.

3.) VFD Microfinance

VFD Microfinance bank is one of the leading microfinance banks in Nigeria which is based in Lagos. The company is run by a highly experienced management board, with more than five decades of excellent customer service under their belt. The VFD Group Plc has stated that it will intensify its quest to obtain a commercial banking license from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) before the end of 2023.

4.) Sofri

Launched in April 2022, Sofri is a trademark of Links Microfinance Limited (Links Mfb). Links Mfb is licensed and regulated by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and deposits are insured by the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC). The startup uses technology to deliver superior customer service to its customers.

5.) FairMoney

FairMoney MFB, a digital microfinance bank that is licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) provides financial services via its flagship mobile app. With Fairmoney, users can get a loan instantly in 5 minutes, from anywhere in Nigeria. They can repay on or before your due date with no hidden charges.

6.) Mint

Mint Digital Bank is a CBN-Licensed microfinance bank and a subsidiary of Finex Microfinance Bank that offers unparalleled value to Nigerians by providing innovative solutions to businesses and individuals who require digital financial services. The bank also provides financial services to underserved groups such as low-income earners.

7.) Carbon

Carbon is a Microfinance Bank licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) with deposits insured by the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC). Carbon offers Nigerians better financial services through free transfers, high-yield savings, and buy now pay later at zero account fees and an annual interest of 1% per annum.

8.) Kuda

Kuda is a full-service digital microfinance bank that is duly licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria. Kuda offers users more than one way to pay easily, including a widely accepted debit card issued in partnership with Visa, quick web payments direct from their Kuda account, and location-based gift cards for shopping and subscriptions. From international transfers to on-the-spot payments at market stalls, the startup has simplified sending money.

9.) Sparkle

Sparkle Microfinance Bank is licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). All deposits are insured by the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC). Sparkle is a lifestyle and financial ecosystem providing seamless solutions to Nigeria’s retailers, SMEs, and individuals. The startup mission is to help Nigerians fulfill their potential by democratizing access to valuable solutions for their business and personal needs.

10.) Eyowo

Eyowo Microfinance Bank Ltd (RC838171) is licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria as a Microfinance Bank. Eyowo unifies all the financial tools users need to pay, receive, budget, and save money in one place, also providing you with the safest card in Nigeria in partnership with Mastercard.

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