Category Archives: INNOVATION

Maximize The Value Of Your Financial Institution’s Data with Paretix Solutions

Paretix designs a customized, optimal solution for each of our customers. We believe that examining a business’ problem, along with analyzing their internal data from the start, allows us to define the proper solution and understand the constraints before we embark on any given course of action.

As part of the diagnostic process, we hold meetings with business leaders in order to understand the depth of the problem, as well as to review sources of data and information within the organization. Paretix works in collaboration with the client to consider all options and find the optimal solution to a given problem.

For example, do we need to conduct a historical analysis of data in order to build a statistical model? Or should the development of a model be based, instead, on expert knowledge from with the organization? The findings of the diagnostic process include a description of the current situation, a description of the proposed solution, a comparison of the proposed solution to existing solutions on the market, and schedule estimates for implementing the proposal.

Services include:

REGULATORY CREDIT RISK AND BANK REGULATION:

– Development of models to rank AB/BS in all sectors.

– Development of models for calculation of expected loss given default (LGD).

– Development of a uniform scale (master scale) credit risk rating.

– Development of risk-adjusted pricing models.

– Support for the implementation of Basel II (SAS application).

– Expected loss development assessment and reporting.

– Support in the writing of the ICAAP report (including risk profile analysis).

– Definition of methodology for calculating extreme scenarios which is run at regular intervals and analyzes results.

PROCESS OPTIMIZATION:

– Development of debt collections models.

– Prioritization of service based on customer value.

– Definition of indicators and performance measurement processes of individual branches for a bank.

MARKETING PROCESS OPTIMIZATION

– Analysis of online marketing activities, including an analysis of the marketing activities, as well as the stages of            handling incoming leads from origination and until they become active.

– Building a customer profile and on the basis of that profile, building models for an insurance company.

– Development of a process for processing incoming leads and ongoing monitoring of the results of that process.

– Production of lists of hot leads for the sale of credit.

PARETIX DIGITAL LENDING:FLEXIBLE, PROFITABLE, EASY

PARETIX DIGITAL LENDING:FLEXIBLE, PROFITABLE, EASY

Paretix enables banks to completely automate and digitalize lending via cell phones to increase revenue and customer satisfaction.

Your bank is facing new challenges, with added pressure from digital alternatives, decreased customer loyalty and new risks every day.

You need a system to allow you to make loans to customers on their schedule, not yours and on their device, not through your branch.

You need instant customer approvals based on models that use your data, and you need your lending to drive your profitability.

You need Paretix.

Paretix allows your mobile money customers to apply for a loan through your existing mobile money application and receive a decision and a specific loan offer within seconds.

Our engine processes the customer’s loan request, using advanced scoring analytics and existing MNO data to make decisions, based on your lending priorities and digital lending roadmap.

Customers who accept the loan offer can have the loan disbursed to their mobile money account immediately.

WHY PARETIX?

Paretix offers the unique combination of new technology delivered by experienced professionals. Our team has customers around the world and has been in business for nearly a decade, working with financial institutions on a variety of projects, with a focus on analytics and lending.

With an end-to-end solution that works alongside your existing systems, there is low project-risk when you work with Paretix, as we provide all services necessary to get you up and running within weeks–not months.

We have experts in IT, consulting, analytics, credit modeling, and more, ready to serve you and help your financial institution grow revenue through digital lending.

West Africa Mobile Awards opens entries to discover best in mobile

West Africa Mobile Awards opens entries to discover best in mobile

West Africa Mobile Awards opens entries to discover best in mobile

The West Africa Mobile Awards (WAMAS) , the leading industry awards that celebrate the best in mobile and technology across West Africa, are now accepting entries for their 2017 edition.

Following the huge success of the inaugural WAMAS, celebrated last year in Lagos, the awards will once again strive to identify, recognise and celebrate the individuals and companies that are the driving force of the region’s mobile ecosystem.

The WAMAS welcomes applications across 10 categories and finalists will enjoy global industry recognition, invaluable networking opportunities and global publicity.

New for 2017, shortlisted finalists will be invited to showcase themselves during day two of Mobile West Africa, providing a platform and exposure for successful entries. Winners will also receive a wide range of benefits and advisory services to help drive their businesses forward.
Supported by BBM, Wimbart, Kasi Insights, DressMeOutlet, Mobile West Africa (MWA) and AppsAfrica, the awards gala will take place at the Rooftop Lounge in Lagos in front of a packed audience of industry peers, respected judges, sponsors, media and partners for an evening of celebration and networking.

WAMAS co-founder Matthew Dawes commented: “After the staggering number of entries we had in 2016 and the progress that the industry is making we cannot wait for this year’s entries to come flooding in. I think the free-to-enter-model and completely independent ethos behind the awards really hit home last year. All it takes is a few minutes and the next thing you know you and your company could be on stage picking up an award. What’s not to like about that?”

The awards will recognise the global brands, dynamic start-ups and visionary individuals who are shaping mobile content and commerce in West Africa. Applications are welcome across 10 categories and the WAMAS are free to enter, ensuring a level playing field for all.

An expert judging panel that includes industry leaders, independent journalists, analysts, academics and VCs will assess all entries. The process will be completely comprehensive, exhaustive and systematic, meaning that the awards and the processes surrounding them are fully transparent.

The deadline for entries is Friday 24th March and the West Africa Mobile Award Winners 2017 will be revealed over cocktails and canapés at the awards ceremony on 18th May in Lagos, Nigeria.

To enter or reserve your tickets please visit : West Africa Mobile Awards (WAMAS)

Intel buying Israeli car tech firm Mobileye for $15 bn

Intel buying Israeli car tech firm Mobileye for $15 bn

Intel buying Israeli car tech firm Mobileye for $15 bn

Intel will buy Israeli car tech firm Mobileye for more than $15 billion (14 billion euros), the companies said Monday, in a deal signalling the US computer chip giant’s commitment to technology for self-driving vehicles.

Israeli media reported that the deal worth approximately $15.3 billion was the largest ever cross-border acquisition for an Israeli tech firm.

It comes with Intel and Mobileye previously collaborating with German automaker BMW to develop self-driving cars.

Intel and Mobileye said they expected to combine to become a global leader in “autonomous driving” that could provide the technology at a lower cost.
“The combination is expected to accelerate innovation for the automotive industry and position Intel as a leading technology provider in the fast-growing market for highly and fully autonomous vehicles,” it said.

“Intel estimates the vehicle systems, data and services market opportunity to be up to $70 billion by 2030.”

Last year, BMW announced that it was joining forces with Mobileye and Intel on a self-drive project for “highly and fully automated driving” to be commercially available by 2021, called the BMW iNext.

BMW announced in January it would deploy 40 self-driving vehicles for tests in the United States and Europe this year.

In August, Mobileye and UK-based auto-equipment maker Delphi said they were teaming up to develop an autonomous driving system which would be ready for vehicle-makers in 2019.

Nearly all the major global automakers are involved in testing autonomous or semi-autonomous vehicles, with some expecting full autonomy within a few years.

Mobileye, whose speciality includes systems for accident avoidance, has concluded an agreement with Volkswagen on road data technology as well.

The Israeli firm was founded in 1999 and employs some 660 people. It has developed real-time camera systems used to avoid accidents with the help of algorithms that interpret the data.

– ‘Data centres on wheels’ –

Its proprietary EyeQ5 computer vision processor gets input from the 360-degree surround view sensors as well as localisation.

Drivers may be familiar with its system that warns when they are approaching too closely to another vehicle or pedestrian.

Mobileye co-founder Ziv Aviram said of the acquisition that “together, we will provide an attractive value proposition for the automotive industry”.

“We expect the growth towards autonomous driving to be transformative,” he said in the statement.

“It will provide consumers with safer, more flexible, and less costly transportation options, and provide incremental business model opportunities for our automaker customers.”

The companies said the transaction, approved by the boards of both Intel and Mobileye, is expected to close within the next nine months.

“As cars progress from assisted driving to fully autonomous, they are increasingly becoming data centres on wheels,” the statement said.

“Intel expects that by 2020, autonomous vehicles will generate 4,000 GB of data per day, which plays to Intel’s strengths in high-performance computing and network connectivity.”

Israeli officials were also touting the deal as a sign of confidence in the country’s high-tech sector — an industry that has given it the nickname the “start-up nation”.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke by phone with Aviram to congratulate him, a statement from the premier’s office said.

“The deal dramatically proves that the vision we are leading is being realised,” Netanyahu said.

“Israel is becoming a global technology centre not only in the field of cyber but also the automotive field.”

Economy Minister Eli Cohen told army radio that “what’s important now is that the production remains in Israel, where some 300 international companies are located”.

The centre for work on the combined autonomous vehicle will be Mobileye’s headquarters in Jerusalem, the firms said.

Aviram told Netanyahu that a global development centre will be established in Israel and “will be responsible all the international activity of Intel’s autonomous cars”, the statement from the premier’s office said.
Intel has long operated in Israel, opening its first development centre in 1974.

In 2014, the firm announced it was to invest close to $6 billion in upgrading its Israeli production facilities.

CWG seeks investment in youth entrepreneurs to boost Small and Medium Enterprises segment

CWG seeks investment in youth entrepreneurs to boost SMEs

CWG seeks investment in youth entrepreneurs to boost Small and Medium Enterprises segment
CWG Plc has urged government at all levels in the country to invest heavily into youth entrepreneurship, saying such investment would boost the Small and Medium Enterprises segment and ultimately help to grow the economy.

The company said apart from helping to grow the economy, several jobs would be created in tandem with the President Muhammadu Buhari led federal government’s desires to create jobs for Nigerians, especially the youths.

Speaking on the sideline of a youth empowerment programme in Lagos, James Agada, Chief Executive Officer of CWG Plc, stated that any country that aspires to be great economically, must collaborate with the youth segment, which forms over 50 percent of the population most of the times.
“Information available four years ago indicates that there are over 17million SMEs in the country. Today, they are more. So, we believe there is a need for an increased investment in youth entrepreneurship as part of efforts to improve the growth of Small, Medium scale Enterprises (SME) in Nigeria,” he emphasized.
He added that empowering the SMEs is the solution to unemployment in the country because they are the backbone of the Nigerian economy, where they are taking over 42.41 million persons off the unemployment space and making a contribution of about 46.54 per cent to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product in nominal terms.

He said as part of its desires to support the federal government’s drive in the area of youth empowerment, CWG has consistently created cutting edge solutions targeted at SMEs in the country.

Agada disclosed that one of such cutting edge solutions it has deployed to empower the SMEs and make them efficient and effective is the SMERP, CWG’s Enterprise Resource Planning platform built to enable Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) manage their business operations in a manner that would ensure productivity and growth.

The Pan-African ICT company’s CEO disclosed that with SMERP solution, SMEs can easily setup an E-commerce website with different categories of products, adding that the solution is suitable for any business like retailing, hospital management, manufacturing and school management.

Speaking further, Agada stated that CWG’s SMERP Solution is an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, which integrates areas such as planning, purchasing, inventory, sales, marketing, finance, distribution and human resources.

Federal Government empowers inventors with N70m grant

Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu

Minister of Science and Technology, Ogbonnaya Onu

Federal Government empowers inventors with N70m grant

As part of it’s support to science and technology development in the country, the Federal Government has approved N70 million as grant to 56 inventors to enable them improve and mass produce their inventions.
According to the Minister of Science and Technology, Ogbonnaya Onu, the grant was to empower the beneficiaries to improve, mass produce, commercialise their products as well as register and patent them.

“The cheques will be given to 56 inventors as grant to local inventors to enable them improve and mass produce their inventions for use in Nigeria as well as for export to the international market.”

The minister added that Nigeria’s future depends on effective utilisation of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) as tools for the economic development of our dear country.
“I therefore challenge you to continue to work hard so as to improve on your creativity, inventiveness and innovation in using this grant,” he said.

Onu, however, informed that the level of funding would improve when the National Research and Innovation Council (NIRIC) is fully established and the National Research Innovation Fund (NIRIF) becomes operational. He thanked the 2016 Presidential Standing Committee on Innovations and Innovations (PSCII), grants for the critical selections of the 56 beneficiaries out of 400 interested inventors.

Ezekiel Izuogu, one of the inventors, who got the highest grant (N10 million), thanked the government for the grant given to indigenous inventors and innovators to improve their research work in the nation. He added that such assistance would go a long way to sustain national development and create employment in the country.

How mobile is driving digital payments, by experts

How mobile is driving digital payments, by experts
Founder, PAGA, Tayo Oviosu (left), Group Country Director/Chief Executive, Visa West Africa, Ade Ashaye, Adviser/Consultant, Financial Technology, Access Bank, Victor Okigbo and Director/Co-founder, Kaizen Venture Partners, Ngozi Dozie at the Future of Payments and its impact on Business section of the 2017 Social Media Week in Lagos…yesterday PHOTO: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI

How mobile is driving digital payments, by Experts

Youths urged to explore opportunities in blogging

With mobile becoming increasingly central to people’s lives, experts have said that the future of payment lies in digital, which will be championed by mobile devices.

According to experts yesterday at the second day of the Social Media Week (SMW) held at the Landmark Event Centre, Oniru, Lagos, there is huge opportunity for operators, device manufacturers and app developers to create new and innovative services and solutions that will spur mobile innovations.

Indeed, at the ‘Future of Payment and Impact on Businesses in Nigeria’, hosted by Visa, the Managing Director, Visa, West Africa, Ade Ashaye, said customers are increasingly becoming digital, stressing that the relevance of today is digital payment through mobile.

He explained that different types of payment are beginning to converge on the mobile phones, “whether it is Internet payment, which result in the delivery of services or app payment at the super market or solutions such as Uber, all these services from different technology companies are converging on the consumers mobile phones.”
Ashaye, who said there would be big investments in contact solutions, observed that smartphones are changing the dynamics of digital payments across the globe.

According to him, mobile has become central to daily life, enabling companionship, communication, health, ‘infotainment’ and serving as personal assistant.

The Visa boss urged operators to develop solutions that will meet consumers’ need, even at rural areas.While eCommerce is growing two to three times faster than physical retail, Ashaye said mobile commerce grows two to three times faster than eCommerce.

From his perspective, the Founder of Paga, Tayo Oviosu, the future of digital payment is enabling ubiquitous, seamless and interactive solutions with mobile technology central to it.

Oviosu, who said Paga about over 11, 000 merchants doing over 15 million volume of transactions daily, noted that cash will be around for a very long time in Nigeria, despite new technologies.

Google Nigeria’s Communication Lead, Taiwo Kola Ogunlade, said the web remains the future, a resource for everybody to explore.Ogunlade said blogs could help in bringing out creativity in individuals.

To the Founder and Editor, Tech Cabal.com, Bankole Oluwafemi, blogging at the beginning could be tough, but consistency can aid growth and traffic that will generate the revenues. “To succeed as a blogger, you must have passion for it. Those succeeding today didn’t just start overnight, consistency and creativity gave the edge,” he stated.

While admitting that blogging can create jobs for the teeming youthful population in the country if well explored, Head, Ringier Digital Marketing, Zubby Emodi, said bloggers must make their content rich and beautiful if traffic must come.

Africa, venture capital, and the digital horizon

Africa, venture capital, and the digital horizon

What Africa’s Investors are looking out for in Entertainment and Media

When a market boasts $3.8 billion in spend with a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) eclipsing 15.7%, I notice.
Growth of this magnitude happens with the maturation of market-moving forces: consumers, technology, infrastructure and governmental support. Essentially, the seed of marketplace success finally has the right soil to grow.
And that’s what makes the above figures so awesome, and frankly, appetizing.
In Nigeria, these billions spent refer to the Entertainment and Media market. Without exception, E&M segments are rocketing up a hockey-stick growth curve and are forecasted to continue among the top two fastest growing E&M spend markets for the next half decade. More remarkable is that, according to PwC1, internet makes up nearly 50% of this spend.

Said another way: Internet-segment spend was nearly $2 billion last year – with only 3% of Nigerians having fixed broadband access, and even then that access being centered in the largest metros. This means that multiples of billions in spend, with healthy growth forecasted, is basically driven by mobile internet users. Digital content and the subsequent advertising and brand exposure are, for the first time, accessible by the majority of Nigerian consumers, on their mobile devices.
Showing no signs of letup and maintaining incalculable reach, here are the digital media trends I’m looking out for as an investor.

Global as a market
I’ve written before about Africa’s potential to boast more billion-dollar startups than anywhere else on the planet. Taking it a step further, I’ll wager that many of these success stories will exist as digital media plays. The requisite developed economy trappings (access to capital, infrastructure, education) that perennially inhibit massive scale are muted in the digital world.
Application and cloud delivery, with accessible markets in the billions finally level the playing field.

Tress, a hairstyle inspiration and community app for black women, reaches an underpenetrated and underserved global market. Although originally built for the African consumer, digital reach has opened up access to users in developed markets making the platform scalable by serving the hair-care needs of black women globally. Word of mouth and localized applicability (tagging salons and locally available hair products) have allowed the platform to become relevant no matter the user’s geography.

Whereas peripheral markets have generally been consumers of content or laggards from true innovation standpoint, the global market dynamic enabled by digital’s rise mean that emerging technology can finally come from emerging markets. Virtual and augmented reality, for example, are globally evolving with an entirely decentralized ecosystem of research and design, marketing and consumption. Why not a Virtual Reality/Alternate Reality lab in Lagos? Imisi 3D is doing just that by building a community of VR content creators in Nigeria, incubating VR/AR businesses and content, and marketing these to a global audience.

Traditional Content Goes Digital
The extinction of traditional media and its tried-and-true methods of information delivery, seemed a surety with the digital revolution dawn. But, it didn’t die, it just got savvy. As Ogilvy Media Influence remarks “Traditional media companies evolved from being in the paper business, to being in the information business.” Instead of blunt campaigns with untargeted, non-personalized and limited segmentation, traditional media has wizened up – serving the right content, in the right format, to the right segment at the right time. Often digitally.

Sliide App, with over 40,000 monthly active users, is changing news consumption by introducing lock-screen content delivery. With users themselves pre-selecting categories of interest (with ESPN, Vanguard, BBC and The Guardian as participating publications). Sliide modernizes distribution of traditional media and creates an unprecedented level of engagement with a three-pronged approach of friction-less mobile delivery, personalization and rewards. Udiit.com represents the coming-of-age of traditional content delivery. The digital content provider allows religious institutions to reach a wider audience and helps church-goers discover and download sermons on their mobile devices. While niched, Udiit is transformational in its approach to content consumption, broadening addressable audiences via the power of a digital dynamic.

Empowering through Digital
As media delivery changes, digital enhancement has raised personal, civil, commercial and social empowerment to unprecedented levels. Connectedness, enhanced by digital, grows transparency and opportunities for education and awareness.

If knowledge is power, then digital channels are the current: She.Leads.Africa is leading a charge of business-launching, career developing, world-changing and woman-focused communities. The digital extension of a movement targeting millions of women with live mentorship, training and inspiration, She.Leads.Africa is afforded immediate scale because of digital reach.

Targeting the Nigerian audience, BudgIT provides a platform for every citizen to access and understand public budgets. Transparency is a meaningful step ensuring government budgets are efficiently implemented for the benefit of the population on a whole.

Data and analytics to drive revenue
The rise of digital campaigns have allowed data on consumer behaviour and market performance to become accessible for the first time on the continent. Obvious beneficiaries of this data are digital advertising companies, yet other companies are leveraging data to drive their bottom line. Maliyo Games creates entertainment apps gamifying the everyday Africa experience. From swatting mosquitoes to running the rush hour gauntlet on an okada, their content story lines represent shared fights, values, visions and experiences of Africans. Relatable content encourages viral sharing. And analysis of engagement data means that content is built to keep users engaged longer while in-platform advertising reaches users with targeted effectiveness.

Asoko Insight capitalizes on data scarcity in Africa by offering subscribers data and analytics on private companies across Africa. It does this by mining digital channels, aggregating and offering hard-to-access, verifiable information. Their platform is the most robust on the continent, distilling firmographic and market activity data for investors, market participants and government officials. Packaging data with interactive, digital delivery is advantageous to anybody trying to do business on the continent and breeds smarter trade relationships and efficiency.
The inevitable ongoing fixed broadband penetration and an anticipated 31% of mobile internet user rate growth, highlight what has become priority to me – and obvious to anyone logging into Facebook, reading the news, or instinctively sneaking a peek at an SMS over dinner: digital content, and the subsequent advertising opportunities are everywhere.

For more perspective on Africa’s digital wave join me at Social Media Week’s panel on “What Africa’s Investors Are Looking for in Digital Media”, February 27 in Lagos. We will be discussing everything from hot trends to regulations and insider advice on getting an early-stage media startup funded.

YOU CAN NOW TRANSFER MONEY INTERNATIONALLY THROUGH FACEBOOK MESSENGER

NIGERIANS CAN NOW TRANSFER MONEY INTERNATIONALLY THROUGH FACEBOOK MESSENGER

YOU CAN NOW TRANSFER MONEY INTERNATIONALLY THROUGH FACEBOOK MESSENGER

Money transfer company, TransferWise launched a new service that allows users send money internationally through chatbots in Facebook’s Messenger app. This move will help facilitate money transfer for the platform as competition in the digital payments market grows. This also comes a month after Ant Financial Services, an affiliate of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, said it would acquire US money transfer company, MoneyGram, in a deal that is expected to shake up the international payments market.

“Our mission at TransferWise is to bring faster, cheaper, and more convenient international money transfers to everyone in the world. Building the TransferWise bot for Messenger is a great step in that direction,” TransferWise Head of Global Partnerships, Scott Miller said in a blog post.

TransferWise chatbot is currently available only on Facebook Messenger although it can be adapted to work with other popular chat services. The service is currently available for people in Australia, Canada, Europe, and the US and it is expected to extend to work in other countries and money transfer routes that the company operates in.

This means that people could switch from using MoneyGram and Western Union to using Facebook for sending money to their loved ones.

Facebook unveiled plans to grow the Messenger into a platform back in 2015. According to Facebook, the platform will let retailers and businesses connect with customers directly through Facebook’s universal messaging service using chatbots. A chatbot is an automated program that can help users communicate with businesses and carry out tasks such as online purchases. Currently, Facebook boasts of having over 30,000 chatbots which help people order pizza, book flights and now make money transfers.

How does the TransferWise bot work?

First, you start a conversation in Messenger with TransferWise Bot and, if you want to send money, you are prompted to log in or sign up for a TransferWise account free of charge.
Then the bot asks which currencies you are using, and you must select a recipient from a list you set up with TransferWise. If you want to add a new recipient to your list — and whenever you are ready to make the actual financial transaction — you have to leave Messenger and go to the TransferWise website.

What you didn’t know about transfer wise

1.TransferWise was founded in London in 2010, by Estonian friends Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Käärmann.
2.It was founded out of frustration with the high fees they were being charged by banks for international money
transfers.
3.TransferWise has raised around $120 million in equity funding for its peer-to-peer (P2P) international money transfer service that bypasses banks to keep costs down.
4.The company, which is valued at more than $1 billion
5.The company is backed by some big-name such as Richard Branson founder of virgin group, Silicon Valley venture fund Andreessen Horowitz, and PayPal co-founders Peter Thiel and Max Levchin
6.TravelWise has customers in more than 50 countries who send roughly $1 billion through its website every month.

Etisalat Nigeria excites subscribers with Facebook Flex

Etisalat Nigeria excites subscribers with Facebook Flex

Etisalat Nigeria excites subscribers with Facebook Flex

Telecommunications Company, Etisalat, is treating its customers with another innovative service to stay connected with their friends and families on Facebook and access to other basic Internet services at absolutely no cost.

This new feature, Facebook Flex, provided by Etisalat in partnership with Facebook, allows subscribers on the Etisalat network to switch seamlessly between free and data modes thereby making it possible for them to chat, post, comment, like or share content for free with friends and families.

Commenting on the latest offering, Director, Digital Business, Etisalat Nigeria, Adia Sowho, said the introduction of the new service was borne out of the company’s firm commitment to continually develop innovative solutions that can improve the lives of Nigerians by leveraging the power of technology.

“We are happy to announce that we now offer our subscribers free access to Facebook any time so they can stay in touch with their friends and family members 24/7. The service is available through the Facebook app or web browser and is flexible and user-friendly. The new feature, Facebook Flex, gives real time access without having to pay data charges”, she said.
Sowho added, “this partnership with Facebook will further help to boost broadband utilisation in Nigeria by reducing affordability barriers while at the same time increasing access of more Nigerians to the Internet. This is a perfect fit for our vision at Etisalat to continue to leverage innovation as a tool to improve the lives of Nigerians and empower communities.”

Francisco Varela, Director of Mobile Partnerships and Alliance at Facebook said, “We are excited to partner with Etisalat to help improve connectivity among different communities of people across Nigeria by bringing access to Facebook and other basic internet services, like news, education and health information to people free of charge.”

Point of Sale (PoS) transactions drop in January by N16bn

Point of Sale (PoS) transactions drop in January by N16bn

Point of Sale (PoS) transactions drop in January by N16bn
The value of transactions carried out over Point of Sale (PoS) terminals in the country dropped by N16 billion in January this year compared to the figure achieved in December 2016, as Nigerians slowed shopping after the frenzy of the yuletide.

A report by Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) the industry Payments Terminal Service Aggregator (PTSA), stated that value of transactions over the platform in December 2016 was N108 billion dropping to N91 billion in January this year.

More so, volume of transactions was also affected as volume in December recorded 8.9million compared to 7.9 million it recorded in January this year.

Financial technology experts described the situation as normal in view of the fact that December is a festive period when Nigerians make a lot of purchases for the Christmas and New Year celebrations.
“But in January not much shopping is done at this period as people have exhausted their cash during the festivity. This is the reason for the drop in both transaction value and volume on the PoS platform,” they said.

Tunde Ogungbade, managing director, Global Accelerex Limited, commended Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for formulating policies that are increasing the deployment of PoS in the country.

“The CBN has done a great job working with the industry players, especially, the Payment Terminal Service Providers (PTSPs) that have played a significant role in Nigeria with adoption of PoS terminals through the Cashless and Cash lite Initiative that started in 2011. The association of PTSPs of Nigeria, for example, has been engaged from time to time to contribute and provide input on policies.”

“It is my view that the current policies are good; nevertheless, there is always room for improvement. For example, a new policy for migration from MSC to Interchange Fees is a welcomed development that will be a major driver for industry growth. Global Accelerex will continue to work with regulators and other players to ensure rapid adoption of policies,” he said.

He however, attributed the lopsided growth observed in the use of PoS in major cities of the country e.g. Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt against other states and cities to the economic activities in those regions vis-à-vis the major city.

“In addition, the cashless campaign done across the nation focused more on major metropolis than the hinterland. Furthermore, the level of awareness in major cities has fueled more rapid adoption in the major cities. For example, Lagos, Abuja, and Port Harcourt constitute a huge part of all the POS transaction that are done in Nigeria, though other areas are steadily growing. We have started observing growth and adoption in other cities, for example, Owerri in Imo State, Gombe State and Delta State etc.,” he added.

Reacting to this development, Mrs. Regha Onajite, chief executive officer, Electronic Payment Providers Association of Nigeria (EPPAN) said that a lot of people have not really embraced the PoS but, that is not a challenge.

“The PoS is only a channel for electronic payment. We have so many other channels like the Mpos, mobile, ATMS, web/online, instant payments etc. so the PoS is one of many other choices.”

WARI AND MASTERCARD PARTNER TO BOOST DIGITAL PAYMENT IN 35 AFRICAN COUNTRIES

WARI AND MASTERCARD PARTNER TO BOOST DIGITAL PAYMENT IN 35 AFRICAN COUNTRIES

WARI AND MASTERCARD PARTNER TO BOOST DIGITAL PAYMENT IN 35 AFRICAN COUNTRIES

Universal payment platform and digital financial solutions provider, Wari, has signed a strategic alliance agreement with Mastercard. This agreement will help strengthen Wari’s offering for its users as well as the digital payment ecosystem in 35 African markets.

“This partnership with Mastercard will provide us with the ability to boost digital payment acceptance in the markets that we operate. With Mastercard’s experience in securing payments across the world, customers can be rest assured that their payments will be secured,” said Kabirou Mbodje, CEO of Wari.

According to research by the World Bank, the Sub-Saharan Africa region had an inward remittance flow of over US$34 billion, with outward remittance flows of approximately US$4 billion. Also, about less than 40 percent of the African market has access to basic banking services, but that is likely to change with the launch of Wari. Wari’s business model is likely to help increase the number of banking services in Africa by about 70 percent. It could also help further increase the inward remittance flow of Africa.

“Our partnership with Wari illustrates how much the payment industry has evolved, and how Africa is at the forefront of driving the shift towards digital payments,“ said Daniel Monehin, Division President for Sub-Saharan Africa, Mastercard.

With this partnership, both companies have reinforced their focus on providing all citizens with access to a secure and easy to use financial solutions by removing the need for cash and providing a more efficient way for people to pay for goods and services. Following this development, Wari will now introduce a suite of digital payment solution across its existing networks known as the MyWari app.

“The alliance between Wari and Mastercard is an important milestone in making financial inclusion a reality for all Africans,“ said Kabirou Mbodje.

Mastercard digital solutions to be offered by MyWari app include the following:

It will help provide a secured remittance service by HomeSend. This service will give customers the ability to send and receive funds regardless of the payment method, cash, wallet, debit or credit card.
Wari users will be able to automatically have access to a number of diverse operators from banks; telcos and money transfer operators globally.
Users will be able to use a virtual card solution, through the app. This gives immediate access to funds, which are linked to the customers prepaid, debit or credit card.

The mobile payment solution gives Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) access to a low cost way of accepting payments for their goods and services. MSMEs will be able to go beyond cash and traditional point of sale terminals.

1.What you didn’t know about Wari

2.Wari is a new generation of innovative platform for financial and non-financial service transactions for Africa and the world.

3.Wari is offering easy to use mobile, web and card solutions for institutions, commercial and financial organisations, merchants and consumers through a proprietary transactional platform.

4.Wari services are available on MyWari or through bank branches, Micro-Finance Institutions, MFI and also through network partners such as Airtel and MTN.

5.Wari is a fully owned African company incorporated in 2008

Currently, it is operating in several African countries and has been granted permission from the following Central Banks:

The Central Bank of the Republic of Kenya
The Central Bank of the Republic of Tanzania
The Central Bank of the Republic of Uganda
The Central Bank of the Republic of Ghana
The Central Bank of the Republic of Mozambique
The Central Bank of the Democratic Republic of Congo
The Central Bank of the Republic of The Gambia
The Central Bank of the Republic of Cabo Verde
The Central Bank of the Republic of Guinea Conakry
The Central Bank of the Republic of Mauritania

ONYEKA AKUMAH lAUNCHES FARMCROWDY.COM NIGERIA’S FIRST DIGITAL AGRICULTURE PLATFORM

NIGERIA’S FIRST DIGITAL AGRICULTURE PLATFORM

ONYEKA AKUMAH lAUNCHES FARMCROWDY.COM NIGERIA’S FIRST DIGITAL AGRICULTURE PLATFORM

Nigeria’s first digital agriculture platform, Farmcrowdy.com, was officially launched on Tuesday, November 15, 2016, in Lagos, Nigeria. Nigerians can now participate in agriculture using online technology.

“Farmcrowdy is a revolutionary platform, one that has the ability to turn Nigeria’s economic fortune for good leveraging of technology to impact on the Agriculture space,” said Onyeka Akumah, Co-Founder, and CEO, Farmcrowdy.

At the 2016 African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF), which took place in September 2016 in Kenya, African leaders came together to advance the policies and secure the investments that will ensure a better life for millions of Africa’s farmers and families—and realise the vision of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari has, on several occasions, iterated that he was going to keep to his campaign promise of expanding the country’s agricultural sector while stating that petroleum will no longer be sufficient for major revenue generation.

As with most businesses, capital or lack of investment is an issue for the average Nigerian farmer. Those interested in expanding their farms and consequently product output, have very little, or no funds at all.

Through this platform, Nigerians across the world can commit an agreed sum to own a minimum farm space, start and complete a farming cycle. In doing so, the farm partner is able to sponsor a farmer in one farming cycle thereby empowering the farmer, expanding his farm operations, participating in the drive to end food scarcity and making use of 50 million hectares of arable farmland in Nigeria that is currently underutilised, according to the World Bank.

How does the platform work?

Farms Partners on the platform can sponsor any farm of their choice including Maize Farms, Poultry (Broiler) Farms, Cassava Farms and Tomato Farms. The Farm Partners then get bi-weekly updates about their farm progress including pictures and videos from the farmers. Also, Farm Partners can visit their farms if they wish to at any point in time to learn about the farmer they’ve partnered with and the farm products they are working on.

“Our goal is to secure 10,000 hectares around the eastern parts of Nigeria and the Lakaji Corridor in other to make use of Dams and Irrigation facilities in this region,” said Onyeka.

Currently, the platform has secured 52 partners locally and internationally who have sponsored over 200 farm units. Also, over 500 farm followers have signed up to learn about farm progress as the updates come in.

According to Onyeka Akumah, Farmcrowdy is here to bring the best out of the resources available in Nigeria so that Nigeria can increase the production of agricultural raw materials to meet the growth of an expanding industrial sector, reduce poverty and unemployment, offer returns on investment for Farm Owners and Farm Partners while proffering a win-win solution for everyone.

The Darknet – A Quick Introduction for Business Leaders

The Darknet - A Quick Introduction for Business Leaders

The Darknet – A Quick Introduction for Business Leaders

When companies are hacked and their data is stolen, that data often appears for sale on the so-called darknet. Earlier this year, for example, user data from both the mega-hack of Yahoo (500 million accounts) and the uTorrent breach (400,000 accounts) showed up on the darknet’s illicit marketplaces. As InformationWeek recently put it, the darknet is “where your stolen identity goes to live.” Think of it as mass e-commerce for the black market (here’s a good primer).

And it isn’t a problem just for consumers. Valuable corporate assets — from intellectual property to pirated software to stolen code bases and other digital products — appear for sale on these marketplaces more and more. The darknet is enabling criminals to more easily profit from failures of corporate cybersecurity.
To better protect both their businesses and their users, company leaders need to familiarize themselves with the darknet and its threats and opportunities.

What Is the Darknet?

When many people think of “the internet” — websites, message boards, marketplaces, and so on — what they’re actually thinking of is the open web, or surface web. The open web is what you see when you start up a web browser and use a search engine to find what you’re looking for. Sites on the open web are accessible to anyone.
The darknet as a whole is much like the open web. It consists of websites, message boards, and marketplaces. But the darknet’s sites can’t be found with search engines, and they can only be accessed through anonymizing software such as Tor, which obscures the user’s IP address. This is useful for people who don’t want to give away their location and identity to internet service providers or other parties, such as government agencies, that can track network activity.
Of primary interest to corporate leaders is darknet marketplaces (DNMs). The first DMN to hit mainstream awareness was Silk Road, the black market for illegal drugs that was shut down by the FBI as part of a multiagency effort in 2013. New, more robust DMNs immediately took its place, and research indicates that DNMs continue to grow and thrive.

DNMs sell their products and services to an effectively anonymous clientele, who often buy with Bitcoin for even greater anonymity. The combination of Tor and Bitcoin has helped DNMs’ popularity explode.

Where the Darknet May Be Headed

As the darknet becomes mainstream, more people may decide to actively split their online activities between a public face on the open internet and a private face on the darknet. Our lives have become permeated with personalized services and technology, allowing strangers to see intimate details of our lives through social media and search engines. The kinds of anonymous environments provided by the darknet may offer an appealing escape.

As a result, HR and legal teams will need to come to terms with the fact that employees may have obscured digital identities. Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter profiles will contain nothing but inoffensive content and activity; any kind of controversial thought and digital engagement will move to “dark” spaces. Employers will have to adapt to the new reality that employee online activity will be harder to monitor, control, or enforce. The sunny days of getting a full picture of someone through their social media profiles may disappear into a darknet night.

Easy access to the darknet will also make it easier for anyone to sell corporate access and critical information without exposing themselves directly to the criminal underground. For example, it seems inevitable that insider information will become available on the darknet. How might corporations or executives be put under suspicion when sensitive information made available on the darknet moves stock prices in a way that benefits insiders?
How Can Businesses Limit Their Exposure to Darknet Risks?

Companies, already taxed with controlling access to systems, defending against cyberattacks, and keeping mission-critical systems online, need to start monitoring the darknet and DNMs. A corporation can be hit with a denial-of-service attack, even one initiated by a nontechnical person renting botnet time through a darknet market, at any time. And any employee with access to the Tor browser can solicit anonymous bids for sensitive corporate data, code, or access. The bar to accessing criminal technology and digital capabilities has never been lower.

DNMs sell their products and services to an effectively anonymous clientele, who often buy with Bitcoin for even greater anonymity. The combination of Tor and Bitcoin has helped DNMs’ popularity explode.

Where the Darknet May Be Headed

As the darknet becomes mainstream, more people may decide to actively split their online activities between a public face on the open internet and a private face on the darknet. Our lives have become permeated with personalized services and technology, allowing strangers to see intimate details of our lives through social media and search engines. The kinds of anonymous environments provided by the darknet may offer an appealing escape.

As a result, HR and legal teams will need to come to terms with the fact that employees may have obscured digital identities. Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter profiles will contain nothing but inoffensive content and activity; any kind of controversial thought and digital engagement will move to “dark” spaces. Employers will have to adapt to the new reality that employee online activity will be harder to monitor, control, or enforce. The sunny days of getting a full picture of someone through their social media profiles may disappear into a darknet night.

Easy access to the darknet will also make it easier for anyone to sell corporate access and critical information without exposing themselves directly to the criminal underground. For example, it seems inevitable that insider information will become available on the darknet. How might corporations or executives be put under suspicion when sensitive information made available on the darknet moves stock prices in a way that benefits insiders?
How Can Businesses Limit Their Exposure to Darknet Risks?

Companies, already taxed with controlling access to systems, defending against cyberattacks, and keeping mission-critical systems online, need to start monitoring the darknet and DNMs. A corporation can be hit with a denial-of-service attack, even one initiated by a nontechnical person renting botnet time through a darknet market, at any time. And any employee with access to the Tor browser can solicit anonymous bids for sensitive corporate data, code, or access. The bar to accessing criminal technology and digital capabilities has never been lower.

Data Science Nigeria to run free bootcamp

Data Science Nigeria to run free bootcamp
PHOTO: TECHCABAL

In line with its vision of making Nigeria the Data Science outsourcing hub for Africa before 2019, and creating one million new jobs in the next 10 years, Data Science Nigeria is set to hold an extensive learning bootcamp between Friday 20 and Sunday 22 January 2017 in the Lekki axis of Lagos State.

The bootcamp will address varying capacity gaps in Data science for beginners, intermediate and experts with specific focus on Machine learning, R statistics and programming/Python for advanced data analytics. Arise and OneFi who would also provide internship opportunities for the best participants at the intensive training camp are supporting the programme, and will run as a regimented learning session and will include virtual classes with foreign-based data scientists, self-paced online certificated courses and face-to-face session by local experts.

Python Nigeria, a user-group that promotes Python computer programming language in Nigeria will facilitate some of the practical hands-on session on Python programming. The free residential bootcamp comes with an intensive requirement. All the world-be participants are expected to complete a 12-hour course on IBM BigDataUniversity.com and submit their completion certificates to secure a placement.

Interested participants are to send an email to kayode_ledipo@yahoo.com for more information on how to secure a space. Data Science Nigeria is an initiative of MTN’s executive, Bayo Adekanmbi. It is driven by a compelling drive to raise a new generation of world-class data scientists, who can tap into the over $125 billion big data analytics market.