Experts Urge CBN to Regulate Neo Banks to Protect Citizens’ Deposits
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.
Fintech Startup Payday Secures $3 Million Fund to Transform Africa’s Borderless Payments
Pan-African Fintech startup Payday has secured a $3 million investment to transform Africa’s borderless payments.
The funding round was led by Moniepoint, a fintech company that provides an all-in-one payment, banking, and operations platform for businesses. Other investors include; HoaQ, Ingressive Capital Fund II, Techstars, DFS Lab’s Stellar Africa Fund, Angels Touch, and Norabase CEO Tola Onayemi.
The recent investment brings PayDay’s total investment to $5.1 million following a $2m+ pre-seed round secured in 2021. The new capital raised will be used to secure operational licensing in the United Kingdom, where the company has been incorporated.
Speaking on the recent fund secured, the CEO of Payday Favour Ori said, “We are building TransferWise for Africa, we want our customers to move money faster with the bank accounts and cards we issue. Other platforms focus on Africans in the diaspora. We are focusing on people in Africa while planning to focus on those abroad by expanding to the U.K.
“We are targeting the future of work by targeting remote workers and freelancers, and we want to be able to study customer and spend behaviors and use that to offer loans. We also want to issue credit cards where if you are a student trying to go to the U.S, you can start building your credit from Nigeria with PayDay”.
Founded in 2021 with its headquarters in Rwanda, PayDay is revolutionizing the way African remote workers and freelancers in Rwanda and Nigeria handle their finances. By allowing users to send and receive money in a different range of currencies which includes, Dollars, Pounds, euros, and several others.
The startup has enabled users and those in the diaspora who work remotely for international organizations to be paid and withdraw money in their preferred currency. With its operations in Nigeria, Rwanda, and the UK, Payday offers its thousands of users virtual, visa and Mastercards, which can quickly be generated using the PayDay App.
Currently, an estimated 80 million Africans work remotely, with PayDay’s global payment processing capabilities, it has made the platform a desirable tool for the continent’s growing digital nomad population looking to make and accept payments from anywhere in the world.
PayDay has so far amassed remarkable traction since its inception. The startup processes an impressive average of 40,000 transactions per day, with its user base continuing to increase.
It is interesting to note that in February 2023, following complaints from Nigerians over the inability to purchase Starlink internet locally, the Internet satellite company partnered with PayDay to facilitate payment transactions in Nigeria. The groundbreaking partnership has processed nearly $1 million, Investors King understands.
Opay And Palmpay Ranked Top as Most Downloaded Fintech Apps Amid Naira Shortage
A new report has shown that Chinese-owned fintech apps Opay and Palmpay are the most downloaded digital banks in Nigeria in 2023, thanks to the cash crunch and failure of traditional banks.
In the report compiled by Similar Web, a web analytics company, both apps became the main alternative to bank apps for money transfers and bill payments during the cash crunch. These apps were reported to be mostly used by vendors and businesses to send and receive money due to the seamless transaction it offers to users.
A large percentage of users disclosed that by using these Fintechs platforms, they do not have to worry about network issues as both apps are always available 24/7. Opay and Palmpay have been lauded for offering relief to Nigerians, especially at a time of unprecedented transaction failure.
It is interesting to note that both Fintechs are licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), insured by the NDIC, and trusted by millions of users. Last week, Opay expressed appreciation to millions of users for increased usage of the platform in the last three 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.
Investors King understands that the naira redesign by the CBN which led to cash shortage in the country, prompted a huge percentage of the Nigerian population to resort to the use of mobile bank apps for transfers. Unfortunately, the increased reliance on banking apps and USSD platforms negatively impacted bank performance, and put a 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.
This prompted customers who did not hesitate to resort to the use of Fintechs which they revealed was more reliable than bank apps. Meanwhile, the transaction glitches experienced by bank customers have no doubt benefitted several fintech platforms, which had tough times wooing customers before the recent cash crunch that saw them gain a significant amount of users.
These platforms have been able to wrap themselves around the fabric of society and have been massively adopted as reliable alternatives to the epileptic services rendered by conventional banks.
Opay Expresses Appreciation to Millions of Users Over Increased Usage of Its Platform
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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