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Quidax currently Building the Next West Africa Billion-Dollar Crypto Startup

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Quidax currently Building the Next West Africa Billion-Dollar Crypto Startup
On Friday the 13th of September, Nairametrics sat down with the Chief Executive Officer of Quidax, Buchi Okoro, to discuss Quidax’s rising reputation in the cryptocurrency space and what to expect from Africa’s largest cryptocurrency exchange and possibly the continent’s next billion-dollar crypto startup.

Why is Quidax in crypto?
The journey into crypto started a while back with me actually getting ripped off while trying to buy cryptocurrency with Naira, as well as my co-founder Uzo Awili receiving Bitcoin for his work as a developer with no way to convert it to naira. Now multiply that by the thousands of people having these same issues and it becomes clear that the big why for us was to fill a real market need and the opportunity to be a part of the greatest revolution to finance and money in the past 200 years. That is golden.
At what point did Quidax seem viable?
We started initially with the crude (so it seemed at the time) idea of organizing a Whatsapp group where people bought and sold crypto between themselves. This was in 2016, at some point it was like oh, this is something and we sat down to do the math. People where moving serious numbers through that group, it was at that point we knew there was a demand for a reliable and seamless way to buy and sell cryptocurrency. We can say that was when we knew Quidax was viable but it wasn’t Quidax then.
What is Quidax doing that is unique?
Firstly, we settle to local bank accounts instantly, the earliest we have seen is 4 hours settlement time-spanning up to 72 hours, this literally means that you can’t save a life if you wanted to use a crypto transaction.

Secondly, we are building the infrastructure that powers crypto-fiat transactions across Africa which means you can now build a crypto application into your product or service powered by our infrastructure. If you want your users to buy, sell or store crypto on your product, or simply operate a cryptocurrency wallet, you can easily do that by integrating with our plug-and-play APIs.

What do you love about your team, and why are you the ones to solve this problem?
The thing I love most about the team is that they are crazy enough to think they can do anything. We always joke that if we knew what it would take we might never have gone into it but beyond that, there is a huge sense of trust, discipline and fellowship within the team and that is important because the journey is long and the demands are heavy.
We are solving the problem because there is equal parts experience, excitement and discipline within the team.

In your opinion, do you think cryptocurrency can transform Africa?
Yes, I do, and that is because Africa has a track record of leapfrogging. It happened with telecommunication, with mobile money and now with financial transactions. The promise of crypto is the ability to transfer value from point A to B efficiently, seamlessly and cheaply. We see cryptocurrency as the technology that could make doing business across and with Africa easier, cheaper, faster and more efficient. Crypto would open Africa to the world economically in the way the internet did.

What is Quidax’s unfair competitive advantage and why will it be sustained?
12 hours to 2 minutes. That’s the amount of time we have reduced settlement to the local bank account and we have been able to do that because of our integrations into the major banks, it took us 10 months to get this right.

We support businesses that transact with cryptocurrency and want to offer crypto services to their customers in the way no other player does.

Here’s a question I have been meaning to ask, what can people do with cryptocurrency?
In some countries, you can use cryptocurrencies to pay for everyday goods and services. The likes of Starbucks and retailer Walmart are among those that accept cryptocurrency as payment.

In Nigeria, very soon, customers would be able to pay for everyday stuff using cryptocurrency. One of the businesses we support, Fliqpay, has been on this journey for a while and it is finally coming to light. So you would be able to buy airtime, movie tickets, pay for pizza and even cars using cryptocurrency.

What has Quidax achieved so far?
The first of August this year made it 1 year since we launched our public beta. In that time we have processed over 110 Million US Dollars in transaction volume and we serve users in 70 countries and 6 continents but we are still yet to scratch the surface. We want to support more businesses looking to offer cryptocurrency services and help drive its education and adoption in Africa.

What does the next 5 years look like for Quidax?
In the next 5 years, we expect to be covering at least 40 countries in Africa and powering remittance in and out of Africa. We also expect that at that time we would have achieved our goal of being the go-to African partner for anything cryptocurrency related.

What’s a typical day at Quidax like?
A typical day at Quidax could go from calling users to understand the issues they are facing and then turning that feedback into actionable steps that could end up as new product features or an upgrade to an existing feature. However, the best part of my day is taking a look at our metrics to understand how users are daily engaging with Quidax and what we can do to optimize that experience for them.

What’s in Quidax’s pipeline? What features can users expect from Quidax in the next 1 year?
A couple of our plans for the next year are hush-hush. Although I can tell you what to expect over the next month. In about 3 weeks we will be launching our mobile app but sometime before then, we will be kicking off a partnership with a liquidity provider. With the partnership, people can trade higher amounts of cryptocurrency on Quidax. The most exciting part of next month is that we will be entering into some partnerships that would change the face of crypto-remittance in Africa.

Who are your competitors, and how are you different?
While there are a number of cryptocurrency exchanges in Africa none of them is on our trajectory. That is taking an active approach to solving remittance problem by providing liquidity and taking on the challenges of building out the required infrastructure to power remittance in a way no one is thinking about it today. In all honesty, we need more competitors looking at this problem with each coming up with a unique and innovative way to tackle the problem. At the end of the day, it’s a win-win for everyone.

[READ ALSO: Here is why Facebook’s cryptocurrency will threaten Europe if launched]

What’s your biggest threat?
Our biggest threat is regulation. Don’t get me wrong we are not against regulation, we are currently in line with Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti Money Laundry (AML) best practices for financial institutions. Rather, regulation without a proper understanding of the cryptocurrency space is what we are wary of.

Although we are definitely in support of cryptocurrency regulations to ensure a safe climate for users. We would rather it is done with players in the space at the table to ensure innovation isn’t stifled just when it is starting to grow.

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BUILDING TRUST IN AN ERA OF DIGITAL BANKING

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BUILDING TRUST IN AN ERA OF DIGITAL BANKING

BUILDING TRUST IN AN ERA OF DIGITAL BANKING

With an increasing trend in technology, digital banking is fast becoming the order of the day and customers are quickly aligning with this shift due to its convenience and popularity.

Digital banking has made it easy to save money, send cash to others, check account balances, apply for loans and other financial products in less time.

Despite all these, customers have always been in doubt that their private financial information is being kept safe from intruding eyes. In the era of digital banking, enabling trust and achieving high-security online platform is a huge essential for banks and customers as well.

Digitalization of the banking sector is being faced with a lot of threats which makes customers doubt the credibility of online banking. Some of these threats are:

 

  • Unencrypted data: Leaving our data unencrypted is a huge way to let potential criminals gain access into our digital banking profiles. While “bank-level encryption” is mostly a marketing term, it’s still proof that your institution does not take this part of security lightly.
  • Identity theft: Identity theft is as big a threat today in banking.
  • Ransomware: Ransomware can be surprisingly scary. This term is concerned with a third party gaining access to and taking control of your computer and its files and then attempting to manipulate you by extorting money from you in exchange for restored access. After the victim pays up, there’s no assuredness that the thief will follow through with the negotiation.

 

Financial institutions can easily leave cybersecurity blind spots accessible for potential criminals. Thankfully, many well-known organizations now know the stakes and how to prevent problems when they can as well as responding quickly in a crisis when they cannot.

Trust is a necessity for the progress of any company. It plays a non-negotiable role in digital banking. However, digitalization of the industry provides a perfect avenue to fortify customers’ trust

Ensuring that security and trust related issues are met involves regular training, random spot checks and hiring for soft skills such as conscientiousness and being apt to details .

Of course, banks can do all of this and still fail to connect with their customers or communicate meaningfully about the measures they’re taking. That’s why the heroes of the show in the digital era are transparency and integrity. Banks can gain a competitive advantage by being transparent about their modus operandi and by taking the right precautionary measures before regulatory groups force their hands.

 

There are many factors that are vital to gaining the trust of customers in digital banking services. In the following, we will discuss five critical building blocks that form the bedrock for actively building trust in digital banking services.

 

INTEGRITY OF THE BANK AND BRAND EXPERIENCE

The integrity of a bank and its reputation has a major impact on the trust that clients place in it.

On the one hand, the stability of a bank is important: it consists of financial stability, security measures and size, as well as other things.

On the other hand, the client experience is also of crucial importance, i.e. how the client is treated, how the bank communicates with the client, and how the bank responds to and helps solve its client’s problems.

An enjoyable experience that a client encounters with the bank through other channels has a positive impact on the afore trust in the bank’s digital services. It is, of course, necessary that the customer also realizes a digital service as that of their financial service provider. Steady and integrated branding across all offline and online channels is the key to realizing this goal.

 

RELIABILITY OF THE SYSTEM

Digital services must meet the basic requirements for IT systems in order to convince a user that the platform in which he or she is operating on is reliable. While in an interpersonal relationship people try to analyze the motives and intentions of their partner, in a human-machine relationship they evaluate the reliability of the technical device. A system that is not available or accessible denotes that something is wrong with it, as do above-average loading times.

 

SECURITY AND PRIVACY

Security concerns are one of the main factors responsible for the adoption of online banking services.

The supposed security is of crucial importance for the trust of the customers. It is not sufficient to simply implement a system securely, the user must also view this system as secure. For these reasons, precautions for the security of the system should be communicated in a language convenient to the customer. It must always be ensured that any information about security processes that is available to the user is also accessible to a potential hacker.

 

USEFULNESS AND EASE OF USE

Another basic building block of confidence-building is useful services that meet customers’ demands and are user-friendly in operation.

Usability has been proven to be an important factor in building a relationship of trust between people and digital services.

In contribution to the actual usability, the direct benefit of a service for the customer is also considered. The more useful a service is, the more eager the customer will be to entrust his information to a service provider. Appropriate services and convincing usability can only be gotten in a design and development process by steadfastly involving the customers and future users.

 

TRANSPARENCY IN ALL AREAS

Another fundamental building block for enhancing trust is transparency. The more a customer knows about a service provider, the more convenient it would be for him to analyze the consequences of his potential conduct.

Also clients welcome the idea of lucid transparency on the part of the bank when it concerns the use of their data. For some users, this knowledge is even vital to build trust and is encouraged by control over their own data.

Digital banking is a great step forward for customers as well as the financial institutions serving them. As we’ve seen, banks are working relentlessly to employ the right staff and use advanced technologies to secure our profiles. However, we need to meet up with our own end of the bargain too and carry out the small steps available to us to ensure our most treasured information stays safe and secure.

Bank with Mint is a digital bank committed to keeping customers’ data safe with different safety measures such as encryption of all data. All deposits are insured by the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation(NDIC)

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DIGITAL BANKING: THE FUTURE OF BANKING

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THE FUTURE OF BANKING

DIGITAL BANKING: THE FUTURE OF BANKING

There have been drastic changes in the banking industry over the years. With recent trends in finance such as open banking, Cashless withdrawal at the ATM, Bankcards, and POS withdrawal, people think that the herculean task of standing in banks has been tackled with but the question remains, could these trends be the future we have always dreamt of?

The known meaning of “bank” has undergone so many changes, making the traditional banks face massive threats from what technology has to offer to the banking industry and human experience at large. Bank processes are experiencing distortion and the normal day to day interactions with customers are being repositioned.

Banking has improved from what it usually was and is migrating further to what it can be at a faster rate. The future of banking now relies on the extent to which banks utilize rare opportunities available to them, the way they use the massive information that they are provided with, the innovation they can come up with and the extent to which their tactics, methods, and activities revolve around consumers’ everyday life.

An obsession with customers will play a critical role in the future of banking as banks will be preoccupied with the customers’ problems and will always have their customers’ interests at heart from the beginning to the end.

Customer habits and priorities are being re-aligned to banking with speed and efficiency. They want a situation where the solutions to their problems and answers to their questions will be provided immediately on their mobile phone. Customers do not want to go to branches and stand in a queue; they want financial information at the tip of their fingers and the ability to transact at the touch of a button.

The bank of the future will be a technological firm that will focus on banking and this is where digital banking comes in. Digital banking Is the digitalization of banking services to reduce risk, improve efficiency and serve customers better.  Digital banking allows customers to deposit money, withdraw money, apply for loans, check account management, make payments online using their smartphone, and more.

Digital banking provides a lot of benefits for both banks and customers. While customers save time and stress that come with traditional banking transactions, banks save money on physical infrastructure by moving a part of their transactions online.

It is important to note that there is a difference between online banking and digital banking as people often misplace the two. Online banking focuses mainly on remote deposits, money transfers, bill payments, and basic online management of accounts. Online banking could also be referred to as e-banking, virtual banking, or internet banking but digital banking focuses on digitizing the major aspects of banking. It involves digitizing every program and activity carried out by financial institutions and their customers

Looking at the future of banking, going digital is no longer an alternative for firms who wish to survive. It’s a must as the progress of Digital banking is moving at a fast pace with no signs of reducing its pace. Accessibility, rate of operation, and confidentiality are not just extra bonuses to consumers anymore. They are now standard essentials of the rapidly improving customer-bank relationship.

Consumer choice has moved to online and mobile devices. This shift has caused many financial organizations to struggle with moving banking experiences to online channels and the smaller mobile device screens. As customers are increasingly willing to switch banks for digital features such as bill payments, mobile payments, and loan applications, banks are trying to meet up with these changes.  A lot of banks have integrated their services smoothly into their customers’ daily lives.

However, in the course of providing new platforms for banks to react and respond to customer needs, the digital realm also offers an increasingly competitive playing field, with competitor banks regularly entering the market. We are fond of hearing of new banking brands presenting incentives to persuade customers to trade banks. This tug of war is putting additional pressure on banks to do better than the other, to retain customers and promote long-term loyalty.

Short-term cash incentives, however, will be in vain if a company’s long-term digital experience is not up to standard. Lost customers depict lost income, a negative effect on brand reputation, and market share attrition. To procure and retain a competitive edge, banks must have a good knowledge of what consumers require from them online and then live up to their demands.

The future of banking is digital. While security and cost-efficiency are important, the worth of digitalization is what the customer stands to benefit from it. Customers believe that digital banking has made life easier for them as it has allowed them to enjoy the simplicity of managing all their finances in one place, setting up automatic payments, or making deposits anytime and anywhere.

Finex Microfinance Bank realized on time that the future of banking meant serving their customers better. This made them spend time and money to come up with a digital bank, Mint Digital Bank.

Mint Digital Bank is a tech start-up based in Lagos with a tech product that is restructuring the bank industry.  Mint Digital Bank has made customers forget about queuing up in bank branches to carry out transactions, as you can transfer money, request money from Mint customers, pay bills, buy airtime, request and pay back loans and so much more with just one app. Mint has made payments super easy.

Mint allows you to manage your finances personally. With the Mint app, you see your inflow and outflow in simple terms. You can also set spending limits, lock your card and make plans. Mint also allows customers to save money as much as you like for that big project.

Mint account is provided by Finex Microfinance Bank ltd. Finex Microfinance Bank is licensed by the central bank of Nigeria and all deposits are insured by the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation(NDIC)

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LIASING WITH MINT DIGITAL BANK: A SURE WAY TO MANAGE YOUR MONEY

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LIASING WITH MINT DIGITAL BANK A SURE WAY TO MANAGE YOUR MONEY

LIASING WITH MINT DIGITAL BANK: A SURE WAY TO MANAGE YOUR MONEY

A good financial future isn’t about how much money you make but how you manage and plan. Good money management makes life easier as it ends up adding more funds to your accounts and reducing your debts.

Money management is the process of keeping records and planning how you spend your money. It entails budgeting, saving, and investing.

Most often, one could be faced with a decision to spend on a large purchase. You don’t just conclude that you can afford something, be sure that you can actually purchase that equipment and still have cash left and that those funds you are about to use have not been committed to an important expense.

This involves using your budget and the balance in your checking and savings accounts to decide whether you can go on with a purchase. Always have at the back of your mind that the fact that the money is there doesn’t mean you can make the purchase. You have to put into consideration the bills and expenses you’ll have to pay before your next payday.

LIASING WITH MINT DIGITAL BANK A SURE WAY TO MANAGE YOUR MONEY

Keeping your money in banks easily allows you to save and spend. Most often people see their savings accounts as nothing but just a place where they can store their hard-earned money.

So many Digital banks have added quite a lot of built-in tools that can help clients manage their money better and have more of it in their accounts with MINT DIGITAL BANK BEING NO EXCEPTION.

Bank with Mint is a digital bank that has made money management more accessible and fun by just using your smartphone to keep record of your spending.

Having an account with Mint, you can do so much more with your money and manage your money properly. Here are ways you can manage your money

1. Use the Scheduler.

There are bills we pay regularly such as internet and TV subscriptions, water bill, energy bill, and so many others. Knowing the exact date when these bills should be paid, you can schedule payments from your mint account. You can decide if you would want us to send reminders of each bill just in case you don’t have enough money to cover the bill.

Using the scheduler can help you save the stress of paying manually when the bills are due and it helps one plan ahead where their money will go.

2. Budget Planner

With the advancement in digital banking, you can track and categorize spending, set savings goals or create a spending plan on your computer or your mobile device, so you can know what is up with your finances without having to log out of your banking app.

This budgeting tool can help you to track expenses and plan.  With Mint Budgets, you’ll be able to organize your budget by goals. It’s all synced with your transactions and savings so you can be on top of your finances in one place.

With your budget, you can assign where each money is going to, either for a project or bills or groceries and so on.

3. Set Limits on How You Spend

We understand that it can be hectic to keep track of how much you spend while keeping up with your goals. That’s why we put you in control to set limits as often as you want. Want to minimize expenses daily, or be more flexible for emergencies? Your Mint Account is there to help.

Even with all the self-control in the world, there are times you don’t stick to following your money rules and that’s why the spending limit feature exists.

This spending limit tool is considered to be a last resort to keep you in check when you’re about to spend beyond your budget. This tool also enables you to adjust your limit whenever you want

4. Track Your Expenses in Real-Time

Each time you spend, your Mint Account helps you categorize your spending so you know precisely how much is going to different areas of your lifestyle.

You can also make use of Mint Tips. Mint tips are built from your transaction history. Your Account learns as you spend, meaning it can suggest how you can save better, reduce spending on certain categories to meet your goals, and even enjoy discounts on common expenses.

5. Sub-Accounts for Savings

Putting money aside is very important in managing your finances.  But not saving for any specific goal can be a major problem in finance management, because a savings account with a specific goal attached to it can feel more like a supplemental checking account.

If you are having difficulties in building savings, the mint app will help with sub-accounts for your savings account. With sub-accounts, you can be specific about what you are saving for in each account. When you have earmarked an account as savings for a new car, you are much less likely to use money from such an account to pay for a vacation. This process is known as mental accounting. It causes you to place value on money differently depending on what you have assigned it for. This will encourage you to be more responsible with money that has been earmarked for a specific purpose rather than money that is unlabeled savings.

This tool will allow you to allocate funds to sub-accounts under the umbrella of your primary savings account. You can give each account names with its savings purpose (i.e., new house fund, Vacation Fund, New Car Fund, Emergency Fund, etc).

In conclusion,

Financial management is changing as the world changes, hence making it difficult to retain a budget using old tools.

While the traditional banks only had to hold your money and send you statements, Digital banking is being geared to making money management easier for you.

Money management could be a complex skill to master, but with Bank with mint, you can make use of all our online tools, automation, and account personalization. These will help you manage and grow your money without much stress.

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