- Debuts Platform For SMEs, Banks Customers
A new digital bank app, VPD Money that will eliminate banking and foreign exchange transactions costs and allow for accelerated local and international trade has been launched.
Mr. Michael Femi Simeon, the chief executive officer of VPD.Money, the boldest fintech company in Africa, said VPD.Money -formerly called VoguePayDigital- is the first African digital banking app that enable its users to have multi-currency wallet linked to their card experience.
He said that the platform would not only improve user experience but also reduce the cost of transactions for individuals and businesses. VPD.Money would eliminate the problem and costs associated with having multiply currency cards through a single combined solution.
According to him, VPD.Money was developed to enable African small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and individuals to transact easily within Africa and globally. Presently, only 15 per cent of Intra-African trade is taking place and VPD.Money is determined to maximise the African trade potential.
He noted that VPD.Money rewards it users with discounts in form of cash backs. “Users of the platform have access to pay for cable TV subscriptions, electricity bills, events, cinema bookings and access to food vendors.
“Users receive cash back on most of the embedded services within the app. The spirit is to help users save on ‘save as you spend’ basis. This is especially crucial in the Covid-19 era.”
With VPD.Money, he confirmed that the aim is to reduce transaction costs by 80 per cent and offer support tools for businesses through a pending ‘Business Account’ feature.
He concluded that the new platform aimed to combine the benefit and strength of a virtual wallet, a bank account and card experience in order to create a true borderless account, leveraging on modern solutions such as digital onboarding experience (KYC), AI, machine learning, RegTech and partnerships. This is a birth of a 21st century financial services experience.
Collaboration Of Government, Industry Players Will Unlock Our Digital Potentials – Olusola
By ADENIYI ADUNOLA
The President, Association of Telecommunication Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Engr. Olusola Teniola, has expressed optimism that with the government and industry players comparing notes it will help to unlock the inherent digital potentials of the country.
Olusola while delivering his welcome address at the maiden edition of the National Dialogue on Telecoms and Information and Communications Technology (ICT), said that government must show more commitment to assuaging the challenges faced by operators such as removal of multiple taxation; provision of seed funds for indigenous players; provision of forex to enable operators acquire critical equipment and ensure policy stability as reassuring measure to persuade foreign investors to trust the Nigerian market.
He said that the 27-year old Association formed by the first set of technocrats in the Nigerian Telecommunications Industry, remains commitment to ensure that Nigeria is not lagging behind when it comes to knowledge economy which is often referred to as the Digital Economy, by complementing and supporting what the government at all levels are doing to transform the nation digitally.
In his words, “The growth across all the sectors of Nigeria’s economy is expected to be exponential as a result of the resolve by the Federal Government of Nigeria under the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy to drive the entire economy through digital resources and the frantic efforts being pursued by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and Members of ATCON.
“This National Dialogue on Telecoms and ICT sector was targeted at changing the narrative of our country’s development through the optimal utilization of digital resources and to achieve this, State Governors, Ministries, Agencies and Sectors like Agriculture, Education, Oil & Gas, Health, Industry, Trade and Investment, Security and Defence, Transportation, Works and Housing have been invited along with telecom and ICT companies in order to see the strategic essence of taking advantage of Digital resources to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of their respective sectors for the betterment and over all benefits of the country,” he said.
According to him, the supply side which is comprised of Telecom and ICT Companies and the demand side made up of all the Ministries, States, Local Governments, Nigerians and Non-Nigerians, are expected to have higher level of productivity on the condition that they adopt and leverage on the opportunities presented by the digital economy to improve their output
He also felicitated with the States that have bought into the Nigeria National Broadband Plan 2020 – 2025 as they would enjoy and maximize the opportunity that pervasive broadband penetration and other ICT Infrastructure can offer as the people of these States can leverage on uninterrupted telecommunications and ICT services which they have not been enjoying before now.
“And it has been widely acknowledged that the presence of Telecom and ICT amenities are prerequisite for where to locate businesses as these critical telecom and ICT infrastructure would give Nigerian youths the opportunity to express their gifts and talents thereby exporting them to earn foreign exchanges in turn”.
He said that ATCON carefully selected thought leaders in the sector to come up with brilliant ideas as to what the public and private sector can do to maximize the benefits inherent in the digital economy such that the recent fall in Nigeria’s GDP can be reversed.
The event convened under the theme: ‘Harnessing the Digital Resources for the Building of Our National Economy’, provided opportunity for stakeholder to channel collaborative efforts toward promoting Nigerian Digital Economy and other policies that the ministry of communications and Digital Economy have launched.
He added that the dialogue shows the Association’s commitment to promoting an enabling environment for the telecom and ICT Sector in Nigeria.
FG Committed to Fast-track Nigeria’s Digital Economy – Pantami
- As Danbatta urges Industry Operators to settle huge interconnect debt
L-R: Mr Alan Sinfield, Managing Director/CEO 9mobile; Prof Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC); Mr.Olusola Teniola, President Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON); Mr. Muyiwa Ogungboye, 2nd Vice President ATCON; Mr. Adeleke Adewolu, Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management, NCC, during the maiden edition of the National Dialogue on Telecoms and ICT Sector in Nigeria organised by ATCON at the NAF Conference Centre & Suites, Kado, Abuja today (Thursday, October 14, 2020.)
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, has re-emphasized the resolve of the Federal Government, through the Ministry, to continually advance the digital economy agenda of the country.
Pantami stated this while delivering a keynote address at the maiden edition of the National Dialogue on Telecoms and Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Sectors in Nigeria held at the NAF Conference Centre & Suites, Abuja on Thursday, 15 October 2020. The event was organised by the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) in collaboration with other industry stakeholders.
Represented by the Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, the Minister said the event with the overarching theme: ‘Harnessing the Digital Resources for the Building of Our National Economy’ and sub-themes lined up for discussions, were apt and timely, given the increased reliance of individuals and businesses on digital platforms to carry out their activities.
Pantami stated that the digital economy journey started by the Ministry, following the President’s approval in 2019, culminated in the development of an eight-pillar National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) with a view to providing a more coordinated and enhanced national policy direction for transforming Nigeria’s economy into a truly digital economy.
He said that NDEPS is a policy document that addresses different aspects of development that require attention in order to have a vibrant digital economy, adding that, like Nigeria, most nations are prioritising the need to develop their digital economies because of the multiplier effect on all other sectors of the economy.
The Minister noted some of the challenges of the digital economy to include rapid evolution of technology and widening inequalities between the digital “haves” and “haves-not”; need for new regulations; cybercrime and other threats; low level of digital literacy; and the need for infrastructure.
While expressing optimism about Nigeria’s digital economy strategy, he economic growth and productivity; increased transparency; growth of digital innovation and entrepreneurship; digitisation of work and useful insights from big data as some of the opportunities that abound and from which the economy will gain.
“The telecom and ICT sector stand to gain a lot from the development of our digital economy and the public and private sector need to come on board to maximise the impact on the entire economy,” the Minister said.
However, speaking in his capacity as the EVC of NCC and lead presenter at the second panel session on the theme: “National Funding and Investment Strategy for Broadband Infrastructure and Digital Economy”, Danbatta gave the theme a sharper by focusing on what the Commission had done in the last five years, especially in stimulating the development of resilient ICT infrastructure and the benefits these regulatory efforts have brought to the economy.
Situating his presentation in the context of ‘Nigeria’s Telecom Sector: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow,’ Danbatta explained that access gaps in the country have been reduced from 217 in 2015 to 114.
“We have licensed Infrastructure Companies (InfraCos); we have introduced innovative policies such as spectrum trading and spectrum farming; broadband penetration has increased from 6 percent to 43.3 per cent in the last five years. Also, from 8 per cent in 2015, the telecoms sector contributed over 14 per cent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as in the second quarter of 2020, valued at N2.3 trillion,” Danbatta said.
Meanwhile, the EVC has urged telecom operators in the country to settle the huge interconnect debts being owed by various industry operators, noting that this should be resolved in the wider interest of the industry. Danbatta said the “interconnectivity indebtedness valued at over N70 billion is a big challenge to infrastructure expansion and inimical to healthy competition” which are needed for facilitating digital economy in Nigeria.
Earlier in his welcome address, the President of ATCON, Olusola Teniola, said the national dialogue was targeted at harnessing the digital resources in the country with a view to optimising innovative ideas to effectively pursue the digital economy agenda of the Federal Government.
The event featured insightful panel discussion sessions by industry stakeholders and goodwill messages by state governments’ representatives across the six geo-political zones, who used the platform to talk about how their states were leveraging ICT deployment to drive their economic activities and the development of their states.
Stripe Acquires Paystack To Accelerate Online Commerce Across Africa
Nigerian payments company Paystack, has agreed to be acquired by global payments leader Stripe to make online and offline payments easier for African businesses, and enable more global companies to enter the fast-growing region.
Paystack powers payments for thousands of companies of all sizes – including FedEx, UPS and MTN – and processes over 50 per cent of all online payments in Nigeria, Africa’s largest market.
Stripe is a technology company that builds economic infrastructure for the internet. Millions of businesses in 42 countries are using Stripe to process hundreds of billions of dollars across the globe
The African internet economy is growing quickly, with online commerce in the region growing 21 per cent year-over-year, 75 per cent faster than the global average.
In order to help grow Africa’s online GDP, Stripe has entered into an agreement to acquire Paystack, a technology company based in Lagos that makes it easy for organizations of all sizes to collect payments from around the world.
Today, more than 60,000 businesses in Nigeria and Ghana use Paystack to securely collect online and offline payments, launch new business models, and deepen customer relationships. Incredibly, Paystack already processes more than half of all online transactions in Nigeria. Paystack has ambitious plans to expand across the continent and recently started a pilot with businesses in South Africa.
Stripe and Paystack have been working closely together for some time. In 2018, Stripe led Paystack’s Series A financing round and has provided ongoing guidance as the company rapidly scaled.
“In just five years, Paystack has done what many companies could not achieve in decades. Their tech-first approach, values, and ambition greatly align with our own. This acquisition will give Paystack resources to develop new products, support more businesses and consolidate the hyper-fragmented African payments market,” said Matt Henderson, Stripe’s business lead in EMEA. “We can’t wait to see what they will build next and how their growth can turbocharge the African tech ecosystem.”
Paystack will continue to operate independently, growing their operations in Africa and adding more international payment methods. Over time, Paystack’s capabilities will be embedded in Stripe’s Global Payments and Treasury Network (GPTN), a programmable platform for global money movement that currently spans 42 countries.
“Paystack is a growth engine for modern businesses in Africa, and we couldn’t be more excited to join forces with Stripe, whose mission and values are so aligned with ours, to nurture transformative businesses on the continent,” said Shola Akinlade, CEO and co-founder of Paystack.
“We believe deeply that with the right tools, African creators, developers, and entrepreneurs can do incredible things. Leveraging Stripe’s resources and deep expertise, we’re excited to accelerate our geographic expansion and introduce more payment channels, more value-added services, and deeper integrations with global platforms.”
The acquisition is subject to standard closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.
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