Stanbic IBTC Welcomes Students Back to School with New Educational Payment Products

 

 

 

 

 

 

A new school year started this month, and Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC, a member of Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, has introduced a suite of user-friendly educational payment products that will relive parents and guardians of the burden of school fees.
The question now is, how do these educational payment solutions work?

Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC is a Nigerian financial institution with eight subsidiaries and an estimated staff strength of 5,000 Nigerians. Furthermore, 80% of the Stanbic IBTC board members are Nigerian.

With this Nigerian-based perspective, the bank recognises the cultural nuances in Nigeria, and has thus specifically modelled these products to be a relief.

The first of the solutions is the EZ cash loan/advance. Parents and wards who are strapped for cash at the point when school fees payment are due, can take advantage of the EZ cash loan, which gives access to loans, in less than a minute, to pre-approved customers.

If you are a salary earner, you can take advantage of Salary Advance (SALAD), another of the bank’s short-term loans that is quick and easy to get.

Another of Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC’s educational products is an international money transfer solution for payment of school fees and allowances abroad.

Added to that are prepaid cards which can be preloaded with pocket money for children/wards, while the credit cards, which currently offer a 55-day interest moratorium, can be used to seamlessly pay school fees.

Dr. Demola Sogunle, the Chief Executive, Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC, said that the bank has a high-importance view of learning, and in accordance with this, it develops solutions that parents and guardians can take advantage of to ensure that their wards get the desired level of education.

He identified a deep understanding of Nigeria and developing tailor-made solutions as factors that distinguishes Stanbic IBTC Bank as a leading Nigerian financial institution.

Speaking on this, he said, “We are a Nigerian bank and we realise that whilst parents and guardians may have desired levels of education for their children, funding may be a deterrent in the pursuit of these dreams. We have hence developed these products which will ease the burden of school fees payment while also providing satisfaction to the parents and guardians that their wards are getting good education.

He added that the bank’s loan products offer fast, simple and convenient ways by which customers can meet their short term financial obligations to educate their wards, with very convenient repayment terms.

Other benefits of the school fees loans are: access to a revolving line of credit, flexible repayment terms, and the opportunity to access credit up to 100% of the customer’s income.

With schools resuming for a new term, the school fees loans will help to alleviate the financial burden parents and guardians may face in paying school fees. He further stated that the conditions for accessing the loan products are having a salary account with the bank; or having  investments with any of the Stanbic IBTC group subsidiaries.

Loan applicants can walk into any branch of the bank and apply for any of the education loans in a few easy steps. The application is then processed and the customer is contacted with feedback.

 

 

ABAN and AfriLabs Partner to Launch Catalyst, an African Matching Fund

The African Business Angel Network (ABAN) has partnered with Afrilabs, a pan-African network of technology and innovation centres to launch Catalyst, a cross-stakeholder initiative aimed at increasing the pool of capital available to promising African growth-stage entrepreneurs, and also support the startup ecosystem including hubs and angel network.

AfriLabs is a network organization of 158 innovation centers across 45 African countries. It supports hubs to raise successful entrepreneurs that will create jobs and develop innovative solutions to African problems. The objectives of this organization are to encourage technology, innovation and entrepreneurship in all forms, and to promote the creation of African-made technology, among others.

ABAN is the largest network of Angel investors in Africa with a goal of dramatically growing the number of investors who support and fund promising African entrepreneurs. Founded in early 2015,  ABAN is a Pan-African non-profit association that supports the development of early-stage invest networks across the continent.

This partnership is in line with the objectives of both organisations, as Catalyst is a co-investment fund that will match investments made by registered angel investors with institutional funds.

Funds are being raised from various institutional partners to add to the pool, which aims to encourage investment in viable startups by verified angel investors.

The first Catalyst co-investment fund will be available towards the end of 2019. Funds from Catalyst will be released after startups have received investments from angel investors that are part of an angel network registered with ABAN. To be eligible, startups are required to register on the Catalyst platform through hubs that are members of the AfriLabs network.

Speaking on this, Tomi Davies, the President of ABAN said, “When we signed the MOU with AfriLabs at their Annual Gathering in Dar es Salam in 2018, we were excited about the opportunity for partnership between angels and hubs on the continent. Catalyst will facilitate the development of those relationships as the first initiative of what we expect to be a highly valuable and long lasting collaboration between AfriLabs and ABAN.

Catalyst is the first pan-African programme of its type, and commenting on this, AfriLabs board chair Rebecca Enonchong said, it is a “real gamechanger” for Africans.

We have all recognised the need to increase early stage funding for our African founders. Catalyst not only does that, but it helps to structure the ecosystem, supports collaboration, and provides actionable insights into the early-stage funding landscape, all the while strengthening our hubs and our angel networks,” she further said.

CampsBay Magazine to Hold the Africa Digital Sports Conference in Lagos

The sports industry is evolving and developing in the tech space as the Africa Digital Sports Conference (ADScon2019) sets to hold in Lagos on September 20 &21 at the Four Points by Sheraton, Victoria Island.

ADScon2019 is organised by Campsbay Media, a Lagos-based specialist sports communication, and media company, in collaboration with The Guardian.

An initiative of CampsBay Media, the Africa Digital Sports Conference (ADSCon) is specifically created to help develop and enhance the fortunes of African sport businesses through digital media technology.

The event is to bring together leaders of the industry to discuss new opportunities for sports in a digital era in a first-of-its-kind sports event in Lagos. The focus is on discussing how Africa can benefit from the opportunities presented in this digital era, as sports media, fan engagement and sponsorship landscape changes with digital platforms

Themed “Monetising Sports in a Digital Era”, this West Africa’s biggest sports business event will host federation chiefs, organisations and brands actively involved in sports development and sponsorship, media executives, content creators, telecommunication executives, right owners, app developers, internet service providers and sports tech startup.

It will welcome Paul Rogers, Head of Strategy at Serie A club AS Roma; Mario Leo of RESULT Sports, Germany; Emeka Enyadike of Digital Sports Africa & Seun Methowe of DAZN as lead speakers. Sports Digital Conference 2019 will bring together the leaders of the industry to discuss new opportunities for sports in a digital era in a first of its kind sports industry event in Lagos.

Speaking on this, the Chief strategist at CampsBayMedia and convener of the Africa Digital SportsConference, Lolade Adewuyi, said “Sport businesses in developed climes are already mining the opportunities that abound in using digital platforms to reach their fans directly while increasing revenue. At CampsBay Media, we believe African businesses can do the same. The Africa DigitalSports Conference will help sports businesses and organisations understand how to take advantage of available digital opportunities for growth.

Lolade Nwanze, Head of Operations at Guardian Digital, speaking on the collaboration with The Guardian, said, “To not recognize the power and possibilities available with digital media is to deny oneself of a place in the future. the Guardian, we are championing this transformation throughout Africa and continue to support vehicles like the ADSCon, which can bring tangible change to the whole sports economy of the continent.

The ADScon2019 two-day event will feature panel discussions, masterclasses, interviews, and exhibitions. Discussions will range from trends such as new digital sports tech companies competing for sports rights with traditional broadcasters, the growth of over-the-top (OTT) technologies helping sports rights owners reach their fans directly and the growth of digital technologies creating a multi-billion dollar media and entertainment industry.

Registration is currently ongoing at the African Digital Sports Conference site. 

 

Two Nigerian Startups Win the Champions of Science Africa Innovation Challenge, with Four Other African Startups

The healthcare company, Johnson & Johnson, has announced that the two Nigerian startups, LifeBank and Crib A’Glow, as part of the six winning African businesses of the Champions of Science Africa Innovation Challenge 2.0 at the 28th World Economic Forum (WEF) which held in Cape Town, South Africa.

The Champions of Science Africa Innovation Challenge is supported by Johnson & Johnson to encourage entrepreneurial thinking in Africa and the creation of healthcare solutions that address the critical unmet needs of the continent. The company, through the challenge, helps to bring the startups’ ideas to life and create meaningful change with long-term sustainability.

The Challenge received nearly 900 submissions from 39 countries, and the winning businesses and programs represent outstanding ingenuity and perseverance, as well as a pathway for scaling operations for long-term sustainability.

They offer bold, entrepreneurial approaches to tackling major healthcare priorities in African communities, including Blood Delivery, Healthcare Worker Burnout, Hearing Loss, Jaundice, Malaria and Ultrasound Access.

Johnson & Johnson announced a $300,000 investment in these six startups. The startups are

  • LifeBank (Nigeria) _ Blood Delivery
  • The Hope Initiative (Rwanda) _ Healthcare Worker Burnout
  • Dreet (Botswana) _ Hearing Loss
  • Crib A’Glow (Nigeria) _ Jaundice
  • Uganics (Uganda) _ Malaria
  • MScan (Uganda) _ Ultrasound

Along with the $300,000 award, the startups will receive extensive mentoring and connection network building, to support the expansion and sustainability of the companies and programs.

The Chief Scientific Officer and Vice Chairman of the Executive Committee, Johnson & Johnson, Dr Paul Stoffels, said, “We look forward to collaborating with and investing in them as they work to create sustainable businesses and programs that offer strong benefits to patients, families, healthcare workers and communities in markets across Africa and beyond

The Head of Africa, WEF, Elsie Kanza further commented, saying, “The World Economic Forum is excited to partner in announcing the winners of the Africa Innovation Challenge 2.0 at this year’s congress, which is focused on Innovation, Cooperation, Growth and Stability, critical areas that the challenge embodies,

Each of the six winners brings a passion for innovation, a bold sense of purpose and a commitment to the future of their communities and the larger continent. By participation in our meeting, we hope that they will be able to gain knowledge, ideas and connections to help them take their business to the next level as well as inspire leaders to encourage and support future generations of innovators.

The startups will each receive a yearlong mentorship and training in addition to $50,000 USD.

 

Chipper Cash Expands to Nigeria and Hires Abiodun Animashaun of Gokada

The San-Francisco based cross-border African startup, Chipper Cash has expanded to Nigeria. It further strengthened the move by opening an office in the capital city, Lagos, and hiring Abiodun Animashaun, cofounder and CFO at Gokada, the ride-hailing startup based out of Lagos, as County Manager.

Chipper Cash is a fintech firm involved in providing a platform for cross border payments. Founded by a Ugandan (Ham Serunjogi) and a Ghanaian (Maijid Moujaled), both of whom had arrived in the United States as students, Chipper Cash has grown at a steady clip and currently boasts as many as 70,000 users.

With offices in Ghana and Kenya, the firm is expanding to Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, to offer its Peer to Peer payment service and app. It is doing this in partnership with PayStack—the payment gateway company, as confirmed by Paystack CEO, Shola Akinlade.

Though the company only fully started October last year 2018, its plan to move to Nigeria’s major economy and scale digital finance applications in the budding Fintech space in the country indicates that its product has got a degree of traction.

Further testifying to this is the fact that as many as 70,000 active users on its no-fee, P2P, cross-border mobile-money payments product. Plus, 250,000 transactions have been completed in the platform since it went live.

Speaking on the rationale behind expanding to Nigeria, Ham Seunjogi, one of the co-founders of Chipper Cash, said,

Nigeria is the largest economy and most populous country in Africa. Its fintech industry is one of the most advanced in Africa, up there with Kenya and South Africa.”

“I think for any company doing fintech across borders, that is looking to be successful in Africa, it’s imperative that you have a presence in Nigeria.” he further said.

Besides Animashaun, Alicia Levine is another senior figure who is leaving and African tech venture to join Chipper Cash. Alicia Levine will leave Nairobi based internet hardware and service startup BRCK to become Chipper Cash’s Chief Operating Officer, according to Chipper Cash CEO Ham Serunjogi.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carbon and Appzone Partner with Open Banking Nigeria

The Nigerian Fintech companies, Carbon and Appzone, have announced a partnership with the non-profit, Open Banking Nigeria.

Formerly known as Paylater, Carbon is Nigeria’s leading digital financial platform that gives quick loans at low interest rates, without the need for guarantors or collateral. Appzone is Africa’s leading provider of integrated banking and payment software platforms to financial institutions.

Recently, these two top financial technology (fintech) players respectively announced their collaboration with non-profit Open Banking Nigeria, joining  industry players like Paystack, Flutterwave, Interswitch, Ernest & Young, Fidelity Bank, Global Accelerex, TeamApt, PwC, and Sterling Bank who have partnered with Open Banking Nigeria.

 

With this collaboration with Open Banking Nigeria, the two fintech companies hope to extend the frontiers of innovation, to attain non-financial and non-partisan API standards for financial services in Nigeria.

Even more, the collaboration is expected to advance ongoing efforts by various notable financial industry stakeholders in the country targeted at maximising the rapid increase in digital and mobile payments, with the ultimate consumer-centric objective of meeting yearnings for convenience and flexibility.

The fintech companies, Carbon and Appzone would actively participate in diverse phases of the development of common API standards for Nigeria, testing the APIs for certification, and stimulating the adoption of Open Banking standards across the country.

Speaking on the partnership with Open Banking Nigeria,  Chijioke Dozie, the Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of  OneFi, the parent company of Carbon said, “At Carbon, we know that data is more important than oil. We also understand that open banking presents a tremendous opportunity to unlock financial access for millions of consumers and has the potential of transforming the financial services landscape, not only for banks and fintechs but for everyone across the ecosystem,

It follows our innovative leanings as a brand committed to providing credit to the financially under-served and excluded individuals around Africa. We believe that, with Open Banking, we would be able to extend consumer credit to the 40 million unique bank customers across the nation.

We find open banking critical to the future, especially as we support over 300 financial institutions on BankOne, our banking-as-a-service platform.

Our partnership with Open Banking Nigeria also comes as a result of our understanding that in our fast-rising digital world, the use of standard APIs is crucial to empower verified third party players to securely leverage technology. Moreso, the adoption of standardised APIs is known to cut cost, reduce connectivity complications and improve turnaround time.” said Obi Emetarom, Chief Executive Officer, AppZone.

According to Ope Adeoye of Open Banking Nigeria,the collaboration of these fintech companies would, “enable further innovation in our financial services industry where the lack of common API standards currently constitutes a barrier to innovation, especially in the areas of digital payments expansion and financial inclusion.

Open Banking Nigeria was founded in 2017 by a group of industry experts across fintech, banking, and risk management to build a common standard for Open Banking APIs (Application Programming Interface) in Nigeria.

It is tailored for various stakeholders within the financial services sector such as banks, Fintechs, and regulators, working together to build the next generation of API standards for the Nigerian banking and financial industry.

Top Business Grants for Entrepreneurs in Nigeria in 2019

Funding is a critical factor to the success of any startup. One of the cheapest and easiest ways to fund your startup in Nigeria is by applying for business grants. The impressive thing about business grants is that no repayment is required. Yes, you heard that right. With business grants, you don’t need to worry about interest rates, term length, refinancing or APR. You just need to qualify, and then you get “free” money.

The general criterion for qualifying for these funds is to have a business, that is, you must have started something that is providing a solution to a problem in the society. Next, you must have a viable and bankable business plan. You should have a vision, market strategy, and records of your revenue and expenditure.

Here are the top business grants in Nigeria

The Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme (TEE P): Launched in 2015 by the business tycoon, Tony Elumelu, this programme provides 10,000 USD seed funding for entrepreneurs across Africa, selecting 1,000 entrepreneurs from over 5,000 applicants. If you are in fashion, agriculture, design, ICT, solid minerals, and light manufacturing, among others, you can apply for this funding.

YouWIN Connect Nigeria: The Federal Ministry of Finance offers this program with the aim of promoting entrepreneurship, job creation, and wealth via enterprise education for young Nigerians.

BOI Funds: Recently, the Bank of Industry (BOI) launched a youth empowerment program for young and talented entrepreneurs who have started businesses in various sectors of the economy. Titled the Youth Entrepreneurship Support (YES) Programme, BOI aims to equip young people with the skills and finances to manage their businesses.

Diamond Bank BET Program: The BET (Building Entrepreneurs Today) is designed to serve as a support system for budding entrepreneurs. Fifty entrepreneurs are selected yearly to undergo a six months intensive entrepreneurship training, after which, the top five are awarded financial grants as seed capital

GroFin Fund: The development financier, GroFin, has committed over 500 million USD to funding micro, small, and medium businesses across Nigeria.

 

 

 

Xenophobia Retaliations: MTN Nigeria Share Price Suffers Fluctuation

Due to the ongoing xenophobic attack against Nigerians in South Africa, there have been violent retaliation attacks against South African companies in Nigeria – MTN, Shoprite, and MultiChoice (Dstv).

Currently, these hostilities have led to reports of vandalism in and shut down of MTN outlet, Shoprite malls, and DSTV offices in Nigeria. Following these violent xenophobia reprisals, there appear to be fluctuation in MTN Nigeria’s share price on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

On Tuesday, MTN opened with a share price of $0.38 (NGN 138.5), but during the course of the day, it gained 1.08%, closing trading at $0.4 (NGN140) per share. From Monday when news of the xenophobic attacks hit social media to Tuesday when the reprisal attacks started, the total number of trades on MTN stocks surprisingly went up from 1.8 million to 3.49 million.

MTN is a telecommunications giant in Nigeria with a 52.6 million Internet users, and a 65.26 million GSM subscribers. This share price fluctuation is coming few days after MTN win the tough battle with Dangote Cement on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

MTN Nigeria listed on the NSE in May with a market capitalisation of NGN1.3trillion, with a NGN782 billion margin between Dangote Cement. However, at the end of trading on August 19, MTN overthrew Dangote Cement as its market capitalisation stood at NGN2.82trillion as against Dangote Cement’s NGN 2.81 trillion.

However, as of today, the NSE ranks MTN as one of the top 5 decliners. Though it closed at NGN140 yesterday, it is now back to NGN 138.05, with a -1.39% negative change.

Given the pivotal role that MTN plays in the Nigerian economy, we can only wait to see how the telecom industry and the stock will far once the xenophobic dust settles.

 

APCON Announces Compulsory Vetting of Social Media Adverts before Publication

Yesterday, September 2nd, 2019, the news of the APCON ad regulation hit Twitter Nigeria and caused an uproar.

Established under the now-Advertising Practitioners Registration Act Cap A7 of 2004, the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) is the legislative recognition of advertising as a profession in Nigeria, and it is vested with the powers to regulate and control the practice of advertising in Nigeria, in all aspects and ramifications.

Its focus is on its vision of promoting responsible and ethical advertising practice, and acting as the conscience of society in matters of commercial communication and as a watchdog for consumers

According to a released statement from the regulatory body, everyone planning to put out an advert on social media has to ensure that all communication materials are vetted by APCON first before it is exposed to the public.

Yes, you got that right. Essentially, is that before you can post an ad on social media platforms such as Instagram, WhatsApp, Twitter, and Facebook, the ad needs to be screened by APCON first.

Twitter users reacted in an outrage to this “highly ridiculous” announcement. Here are some of the varying reactions,

Another example of regulatory overreach in Nigeria. These people never get tired. Clueless bureaucrats always want to tell Nigerian businesses what they can sand cannot do.”

“It’s nothing but a shameless revenue drive. The internet is global and APCON’s jurisdiction ends at the Nigerian border. Or are they going to ask foreign companies whose online ads reach us to get approval from them too?”

This is impossible to track. You can’t police the thousands of digital ads that people can create from the comfort of their rooms. You don’t even need an ad agency to do social ads, how will you track these thousands of amateur and technical ad creators? …”

Another Twitter user shared the link to this site, which explain the legalities and processes involved in seeking advertisement approval from APCON.

This is coming just few weeks after the Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, Babatunde Fowler, announced that the agency will begin to impose value-added tax (VAT) on Internet transactions both domestic and international with effect from January 2020.