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Opay Pauses Some Business Operations as COVID-19 Bites

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Opay halts business units

OPay Halts Some Business Units Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Opay, a seamless mobile money service provider, has announced it would be putting some of its business units on hold as COVID-19 pandemic bites.

In a statement released by the Chinese owned mobile money start-up on its official twitter page @OPay_NG, the company said “We can confirm that some of our business units including the ride-hailing services, ORide, OCar as well as our logistics service OExpress will be put on pause.”

This, it said was largely due to the tough business environment brought about by COVID-19 pandemic, the lockdown and government ban of motorbikes in Lagos.

The statement read “Globally, ride-sharing businesses have been heavily impacted by the pandemic. But several months ago, foreseeing this issue, OPay had already taken preemptive steps to restructure our business focus away from rides. It is worth to note that this final restructuring has minimal impact on OPay as a whole business.”

“It is important to clarify that ride-sharing had always been only one part, and not a major part of OPay’s diversified business in Nigeria. In fact, OPay had been investing more and seeing accelerated growth in its commitment to Nigeria’s financial and technology inclusion.

“During the pandemic, we have seen continued demand for our offline mobile money agency, and online digital payment, which remains the core of our business.

“From January to April 2020 for example, we witnessed a 44% growth of offline and online transaction value even in the midst of pandemic and lockdown. This is a testament to the high demand for flexible and easy financial services by Nigerians. OPay remains one of the most well-funded and profitable mobile money platforms in Nigeria, and we will continue to do more for our customers.”

Below is the company’s official statement as published on Twitter.

Opay Statement

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial market.

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Ecobank Upgrades Mobile App, Launches Cardless Withdrawal Service

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ATM at lagos

Ecobank Launches Cardless Withdrawal Service

In a move to reach the over 100 million unbanked Nigerians and Africans, Ecobank has launched a cardless withdrawal service to allow a large number of people outside the banking sector access bank services.

According to the bank, its mobile application was upgraded to an all-in-one bank account and payment/cash withdrawal tool.

In the statement released on social media, the lender said its ‘Xpress Cash’ functionality allows customers to access their cash ‘cardless’ at any Ecobank Automated Teller Machine (ATM) using only their mobile phone.

Customers can access cash via e-Token generated from their Ecobank mobile application, according to the bank. The innovation is seamless, secure and reliable.

The bank explained that the e-token can also be redeemed at any of its numerous agent locations across the country.

Speaking on the innovation, Ade Ayeyemi, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Ecobank, said “Innovating for customer convenience is in our DNA at Ecobank.

He added: “We have developed this fast, convenient and innovative mobile banking solution – cardless Xpress Cash at our ATMs and Agencies to embed our digital platforms within the lifestyle of our customers and improve the uptake of digital financial solutions by both banked and unbanked in Africa.

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9mobile Joins MTN, Launches E-Sim Service 

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9mobile

9mobile Launches E-Sim Service

Nigeria’s mobile network operators have joined the rest of the world in launching E-Sim, an embedded sim.

In July, MTN Nigeria set the ball rolling with the launching of its E-Sim trial. This was followed by 9mobile that launched its E-Sim earlier this month.

E-Sim is a form of an in-built sim that is embedded directly into a device without using a physical Sim.

Speaking on the new E-Sim, the Acting Director of Marketing, 9mobile, Layi Onafowokan, described the latest move as the most excellent experience that advanced technology provides.

According to him, the E-Sim is an in-built sim embedded in mobile devices in order to reduce the possibility of losing or damaging sim and eliminate the stress of dealing with the cutting of sim cards or finding adaptors.

It also enables multiple usage and adaptation of one subscriber profile across a broad range of mobile communication devices, internet of things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI) apps including smart commuting, metering, tracking, and surveillance, rather than the restricted single-device use of the conventional SIM card.

Onafowokan said: “Customers can walk into any of our select 9mobile Experience Centres to request E-Sim activation. A QR code will be provided to scan and download E-Sim profile and perform the usual SIM registration.

He added that customers that activate E-Sim service will enjoy up to 7GB data-free while those who want to change to E-Sim will only do a SIM swap at approved centres.

E-Sim is compatible with Google Device like Pixel 3, 3 XL, 4, and Pixel 4 XL. Apple Device like Iphone 11, 11 Pro, 11 Pro Max, Xs, Xs Max and Iphone XR. Samsung S20 Series.

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Financial Institutions Owe Telecoms Over N17b in Unpaid USSD Service -NCC

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Telecoms

Banks Owe Telecommunication Companies Over N17b in Unpaid USSD Service

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said financial institutions offering Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) service owe telecommunication companies over N17 billion.

Prof. Umar Danbatta, the Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, disclosed this on Thursday at a virtual forum organised by the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON).

In the forum titled ‘Meeting the interests of government, consumers and telecoms companies in the era of Covid-19 and post COVID-19 pandemic for digital economy development’, Danbatta said the debt accumulated after the commission suspended its determination on USSD pricing in 2019.

However, the Chairman said in order to protect the interest of consumers and support the growing telecommunications sector, the commission has decided to revise the 2019 determination on USSD.

Speaking on the suspension of end-user billings Dr. Isa Pantami, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, said the decision was to ease customers’ burden and ensure justice across the board.

He said, “USSD is a service to banks and not telecoms consumers, and as such, banks should see themselves as corporate customers of telecoms operators with a duty to pay for using the telecoms networks and infrastructure, including USSD channels extended to them for service delivery to their customers.

According to him, “Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) have no direct relationship with bank customers, and cannot therefore charge directly for usage of USSD channel,” he explained.

The NCC, therefore, asked Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and financial institutions offering USSD service to reach an agreement on a rate that works for both parties.

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