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Experts Urge CBN to Regulate Neo Banks to Protect Citizens’ Deposits

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Digital Banks in Nigeria - Investors King

Some group of Experts in Nigeria has called on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on the need for regulation and transparency of digital banks to protect customers’ deposits.

This caution is coming amid the recent cash shortage in Nigeria that has seen a large percentage of Nigerians turn to digital banks, which mostly operate with mobile apps for their banking activities.

Reports disclose that most digital banks often used by Nigerians are operating under the license of Microfinance banks (MFBs) which can pose problems to customers in the long run, knowing full well that the majority of these digital bank do not have the licenses to operate in the country.

It would be recalled that in November 2020, the Central Bank of Nigeria revoked the license of forty-two (42) microfinance banks. The CBN made it clear that these 42 MFBs have been out of operation for some time, and so, the revocation was necessary to protect citizens’ deposits.

There are concerns that the high rate of usage of these bank apps which experts disclose might pose a serious challenge in the future as much is not known about them. Most do not have physical buildings where one can go to make complaints or inquiries, and their customer care lines are disclosed to be somewhat unreliable, unlike traditional banks.

Investors King understands that if a customer loses his money in any of the traditional banks, there are provisions in the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Company (NDIC), the asset management Corporation in Nigeria to recover the money, but not much is known about that of the new generation of Digital Banks which makes it highly risky.

Experts have however lauded the operations of these banks in the country for alleviating the plight of citizens, meanwhile, they have urged the Central Bank to come out and reassure Nigerians of their operations in the country. They also stated that it is ideal for the citizens to know the people behind these banks, as much is not known about them which gives room for skepticism.

It is interesting to note that before now, traditional banks and other financial institutions were the primary providers of financial services. However, with rapid technological advancement, digital banks like Kuda Microfinance Bank, Opay, Vbank, etc are now competing with traditional banks to provide financial services.

The primary focus of these digital banks is to drive financial inclusion using technology. Thus, they seek to reach out to the unbanked populace that traditional banks have not yet captured. 

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From Trading to Credit: Robinhood Launches No-Fee Credit Card with Gold Membership Perks

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Robinhood

Robinhood Markets Inc. has announced the launch of its highly anticipated no-fee credit card and it was accompanied by exclusive perks for Gold membership subscribers.

This bold move is a step in the company’s mission to evolve into a comprehensive financial services provider.

The Robinhood Gold Card boasts an array of enticing features. Chief among them is the absence of annual costs or foreign transaction fees, positioning it as an attractive option for consumers seeking financial flexibility.

Moreover, cardholders stand to benefit from a generous 3% cash back on all categories of purchases, a competitive offer in comparison to industry rivals.

Vlad Tenev, CEO of Robinhood, emphasized the company’s commitment to innovation and industry leadership in an interview.

He expressed the intention to not merely introduce a credit card, but to revolutionize the market with a product that sets new standards for customer satisfaction and financial empowerment.

The announcement has sparked enthusiasm among investors, with Robinhood’s shares witnessing a 6.9% surge in early market trading following the news.

This surge further underscores the market’s confidence in the company’s strategic direction and its potential to disrupt traditional financial services.

Beyond the credit card venture, Robinhood has been steadily diversifying its offerings. With the introduction of retirement products and the expansion of commission-free trading services internationally, the company is positioning itself as a formidable player in the global finance landscape.

As Robinhood continues to innovate and expand its suite of services, its trajectory suggests a promising future as a leading force in democratizing access to financial tools and services.

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Moniepoint Inc Vows to Drive Financial Inclusion Amidst National Development Agenda

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Given the critical importance of financial inclusion to national development and building a sustainable economy, Group CEO Moniepoint Inc, Tosin Eniolorunda has reaffirmed his organization’s resolve in increasing financial inclusion and driving the adoption of technology by the underserved consumers in the country.

The Moniepoint boss was speaking on the sidelines of the 16th edition of Leadership Newspapers Conference and Awards where Moniepoint Inc received an award as the Fintech Company of the Year. The event, which took place at the Congress Hall of the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja also coincides with the 20th anniversary of founding of the Leadership Group. The selection of the award recipients followed a critical review of their various contributions to the growth and development of Nigeria, as laid down by the founding chairman of the LEADERSHIP Newspaper Group, the late Sam Nda-Isaiah.

The prestigious Fintech company of the year award recognizes Moniepoint’s innovative efforts to increase access to financial services for underserved and unbanked populations across Nigeria. Through its nationwide network of point-of-sale terminals and digital payments platform, Moniepoint has empowered millions of Nigerians, including petty traders and roadside businesses, to participate in the digital economy.

“We are immensely proud to receive this recognition from Leadership,” said Tosin Eniolorunda. “From the start, our mission has been to democratize financial services and create equal opportunities for every Nigerian to thrive. Powering dreams and ensuring that the large majority of our people irrespective of where they live experience financial happiness is our reason for being. This award validates our commitment to driving genuine financial inclusion in tandem with the government’s mandate and we are spurred to do more in terms of leveraging innovative solutions and technology to create more value for Nigerians.”

In her welcome remarks, Chairman, Leadership Newspapers, Zainab Nda-Isaiah signposted the role of the awards in recognizing individuals and organizations who are taking bold strides towards creating a more peaceful, stable, and prosperous nation. While paying homage to the legacy of the legendary and visionary Founder and her late husband, Sam Nda-Isaiah, she noted that awards spotlighted those considered deserving and exemplary in their various categories.

“We may not be where we would like to be, but these men and women are making strides in the direction that we hope will lead us to a nation of peace, stability, and the possibility of prosperity for all who dare to seize it”, Nda-Isaiah said.

Keynote presenter, Prof. Kingsley Moghalu, who was speaking to the theme, “An Economy In Distress: Which Way Forward?”, made a case for fixing the fundamentals and advised that the current economic crisis must not be allowed to go to waste.

“There is no better time to fix these challenges than now. The CBN’s policy actions are well intended and will serve to stabilize the macroeconomic environment. We must fully understand the causes that have led us to where we are and ensure that they are fixed by deploying real strategies.” He canvassed for property rights, innovation and access to capital as core pillars for a successful and productive economic growth.

Prominent personalities at the event include, Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris Malagi who represented awardee for Person of the Year, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu; presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, who received the Politician of the Year award; Governors Fr Hyacinth Iornem Alia of Benue State; Dikko Umaru Radda of Katsina State; Seyi Makinde of Oyo State and Mohammed Umar Bago of Niger State; Managing Director/CEO of First City Monument Bank Plc, Mrs. Yemisi Edun who received Banker of the Year Award and Salisu Auwalu, a keke rider from Kano who returned a  bag containing 15m naira  left in his tricycle,  received an award as outstanding Young Person of the year.

It will be recalled that in 2023, Moniepoint MFB received the prestigious Rising Star Family Business Award Pwc/Businessday Family Business Summit; the Most Outstanding Microfinance Bank in Consumer Engagement at the Brandcom Awards, while Moniepoint Inc was listed for the second year running amongst the 100 most promising private fintech companies by CB Insights and the reputable Financial Times named it Africa’s second fastest-growing company. Moniepoint Inc also received critical acclaim as the “Most Outstanding Fintech Company in Financial Inclusion at the Brandcom Awards. Group CEO, Moniepoint Inc, Tosin Eniolorunda was named the 2024 Legit Business Leaders Awards in recognition of his outstanding contributions to Nigeria’s economy.

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Kuda Business Surpasses 100,000 Customers, Empowering Entrepreneurs

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Kuda Microfinance Bank - Investors King

Kuda Business, a segment of Kuda Microfinance Bank, has surpassed 100,000 customers on its platform.

Launched in 2022, Kuda Business serves as an all-in-one business management and banking platform tailored for freelancers and micro, small, and medium-scale enterprises (MSMEs).

The platform offers a range of features including sending estimates and invoices, making bulk transfers, and paying business bills all in one place.

Its user-friendly interface and efficient banking processes have made it a preferred choice among entrepreneurs seeking agility and accessibility in financial management.

Nosa Oyegun, the Vice President of Product Innovation Strategy at Kuda, emphasized the platform’s commitment to empowering small businesses and freelancers.

He highlighted Kuda’s mission to provide essential financial tools necessary for thriving in today’s competitive market.

Okoronkwo Kanno, the Senior Product Manager at Kuda, explained the importance of intuitive and efficient banking platforms in an increasingly digital world.

Kuda Business has rolled out unique features like Sales Mode, Kuda Payroll, and business registration on its mobile app, enhancing its appeal to entrepreneurs.

As recent data from the International Labour Organisation indicates, MSMEs contribute significantly to Nigeria’s GDP and employment.

With Kuda Business exceeding the 100,000 customer milestone, it stands as a testament to its commitment to empowering entrepreneurs and driving economic growth in Nigeria.

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