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Flutterwave Introduces “Swap” in Partnership with Central Bank of Nigeria, Wema Bank, and Kadavra BDC



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Flutterwave has unveiled “Swap,” a revolutionary digital solution aimed at transforming the Nigerian foreign exchange (FX) market.

This innovative platform is the result of a strategic partnership with Wema Bank, one of Nigeria’s top ten banks in terms of assets, and Kadavra BDC, a prominent bureau de change.

Swap, the brainchild of Flutterwave, represents a pivotal shift in the way Nigerians access foreign exchange, with full support from the CBN. The fintech firm has forged a collaborative alliance with Wema Bank, a leading commercial bank, and Kadavra BDC, a licensed bureau de change, to facilitate seamless liquidity and foreign exchange services for its users.

During a recent press conference, Mr. Folashodun Shonubi, the acting governor of the CBN, underscored Swap’s potential to address two critical challenges plaguing Nigeria’s foreign exchange market: the lack of coordination among financial institutions and an overreliance on cash transactions.

Shonubi said, “No new licenses were issued, and we believe (Swap) will help moderate the rates for the BDCs and at the same time differentiate BDCs from black market transactions.” Under the partnership, Flutterwave, leveraging its International Money Transfer Operator license from the CBN, will facilitate the acquisition of foreign currency, while Kadavra will utilize its BDC license for selling, and Wema Bank will provide comprehensive support throughout the process.

Shonubi also said the CBN’s commitment to phasing out non-digital BDCs as part of their drive to transition the FX market towards cashlessness.

“This helps us to differentiate between what is a regulated market, which is a BDC, as opposed to the ones which the central bank does not regulate,” he added, noting that all transactions on Swap would be closely monitored to eliminate unregulated foreign transactions.

The launch of Swap follows closely on the heels of the CBN’s announcement that it aims to clear all FX backlogs within two weeks. While previous efforts to address the backlog, including a highly-publicized $3 billion AFREXIM loan, yielded limited results, the CBN is hopeful that its new initiatives will bring much-needed stability to pricing and reduce the demand for parallel market transactions.

Flutterwave’s CEO and co-founder, Olugbenga Agboola, expressed the company’s commitment to addressing FX access challenges faced by individuals and businesses, stating, “Swap is our answer to those pain points, providing a seamless and efficient platform for currency exchange.”

Swap is currently accessible exclusively through Flutterwave’s web application for registered Nigerian users. The platform offers access to dollars, euros, and pounds. Starting in October, Flutterwave will issue cards to Nigerian users requiring swift access to Personal Travel Allowance (PTA) and Business Travel Allowance (BTA).

To use Swap, users must complete multiple identity verification stages and submit required documentation online, including their bank verification number, a selfie, the reason for requiring foreign exchange, and supporting documentation. Upon successful submission, users can specify the account for deposit and receive funds instantly.

Swap will also be accessible via API for banks, enhancing accessibility and convenience for a wider audience.

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London Fintech Owner Faces Extradition to Belgium Over Alleged Money Laundering for Drug Traffickers



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A London-based fintech owner accused of aiding drug traffickers in laundering hundreds of millions of euros through a cryptocurrency exchange platform must be extradited to Belgium to face criminal charges, a London judge ruled.

Caio Marchesani, the owner of Trans-Fast Remittance, a payments business regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, is alleged to have facilitated the hoarding of significant amounts of cash for Sergio Roberto De Carvalho, a Brazilian previously described by Interpol as one of the world’s most wanted kingpins before his arrest in 2022.

Marchesani is also accused by prosecutors of managing cryptocurrency accounts for Flor Bressers, a Belgian national known as the “finger cutter.”

Marchesani, who was apprehended at Heathrow Airport in May, has seven days to appeal against the extradition order, according to the London judge’s decision on Tuesday.

Following the ruling, both Marchesani’s lawyer and the prosecution declined to comment.

In a statement filed in court last month, Marchesani maintained his innocence, stating, “I have not been involved in money laundering the proceeds of drug sales for the alleged organized criminal group.”

His legal representatives at Mishcon de Reya had previously argued that the prosecution’s case contained “false, vague, ambiguous, or inaccurate particulars.” They emphasized that none of the allegations against Marchesani were related to his business interests in the UK.

The efforts to extradite Marchesani are part of a broader investigation that began three years ago after the Dutch government seized more than 12 tonnes of cocaine, valued at over €260 million ($278 million), at Europe’s busiest port, Rotterdam. Authorities traced the seized drugs back to Bressers and De Carvalho, eventually focusing on Marchesani after a breakthrough in decoding encrypted communications.

Prosecutors acting on behalf of Belgian authorities alleged, “He is a shadow banker who receives money, either in cash, cryptocurrency, or both, and moves it around at the will of the criminal organization to disguise its origins,” during an earlier hearing.

A trial involving 30 defendants in the case, including Bressers, commenced in Belgium earlier this month but was immediately postponed, as reported by local press outlets.

A pre-recorded message from Trans-Fast Remittance stated that their payment service is currently offline but aims to resume services soon. Companies House filings from August indicate that another owner has been added to the registry.

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Flutterwave, Africa’s Leading Payments Technology Company, Celebrates the Success of its Graduate Trainee Program



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Flutterwave, the foremost payments technology company in Africa, proudly announced yesterday that it has successfully onboarded nearly 85 percent of its 200 Graduate Trainees following a year of intensive training.

In a recent statement, the company emphasized its unwavering commitment to nurturing young talent while maintaining its reputation as an exceptional workplace that fosters career growth opportunities in the technology sector.

Launched in August 2022, the Flutterwave Graduate Trainee Program was a 12-month-long paid initiative tailored for recent graduates with limited or no prior work experience but boundless aspirations.

The program’s primary objective was to establish a network of emerging talent, equipping them with both technical and soft skills, along with practical experience, through engagement with a global organization boasting over 750 employees worldwide.

The program’s adaptability, including accommodating the unique needs of recent graduates, such as aligning with their National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) obligations, underscores Flutterwave’s commitment to its customers, young talent, and the community.

Speaking on the successful culmination of the program and the abundant growth opportunities available to employees at Flutterwave, Mansi Babyloni, Flutterwave’s Global Chief People Officer, said, “We are excited to have fulfilled our mission of providing 200 exceptionally bright young graduates with the opportunity to learn on the job and kick-start their careers in the tech industry early in life. As 170 of them transition from Graduate Trainees to full-time employees after completing 12 months of on-the-job training and shadowing, a world of opportunities awaits them. I am thrilled that they can now navigate their career paths within our newly launched career progress framework, which epitomizes boundless potential. Today, they hold roles as Analysts and Engineer 1s; tomorrow, they could be VPs and CXOs. At Flutterwave, anything is possible. I extend my best wishes to all 200 Graduate Trainees, even those who have pursued other opportunities; the world is your oyster!”

Bode Abifarin, Chief Operating Officer at Flutterwave, said, “We’re thankful for the successful completion of the Flutterwave Graduate Trainee Program. We thank the People Team and all the Graduate Trainee Managers that helped coach, mentor and train our GTs to propel their growth into Analysts and Engineer 1s. This is in line with our mission to create endless possibilities for all; truly, their careers have taken off and there’s no limit to what they can achieve going forward.”

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MoneyMaster Payment Service Bank Offers 8.0% Annual Interest Rate to G-Kala Savers



MoneyMaster Payment Service Bank (MMPSB), established by Globacom, is set to elevate the experience of its G-Kala savings account holders by introducing an enticing 8.0 percent annual interest rate on their savings accounts with the bank.

This innovative initiative is aimed at cultivating a culture of saving among both new and existing customers of the bank, thereby promoting financial inclusion across the nation.

In a statement released by the bank in Lagos, it was disclosed that “both new and existing G-Kala savings account holders will benefit from an 8.0 percent interest rate per annum on all deposits made into their G-Kala savings account.”

However, customers are advised that “no more than three withdrawals are allowed per month to qualify for the interest, which will be calculated and credited monthly,” the statement emphasized.

This bold move is intended to encourage the adoption of cashless banking, making it accessible to potential customers who can effortlessly open an account via the bank’s website for a seamless and convenient experience.

“This presents an exciting opportunity for everyone to open a G-Kala account with MoneyMaster PSB, deposit funds into the wallet, and enjoy an 8.0 percent interest rate per annum,” the statement continued.

The bank underscored that G-Kala is a tailor-made product designed to cater to customers who may not have easy access to traditional banks or who belong to the unbanked population.

“G-Kala brings the benefits of banking directly to their mobile phones through USSD, eliminating the need for an internet connection. It empowers them to deposit, withdraw money, transfer funds to other banks, purchase airtime, and pay bills such as electricity, water, DSTV, and more.

“This innovative service offers a convenient and secure alternative for banking transactions, available anytime and anywhere, operating in real time. It’s not only safer and faster but also more convenient and cost-effective compared to traditional money transfer services.”

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