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When you use an ATM or debit card, it’s important to understand the precautions that can help protect your account from being compromised. While we all rely on our financial institutions to secure our accounts and provide us with a safe place to store our money, there are things you can do to ensure that your money stays safe.


Here are ten tips for protecting yourself against fraudulent charges on your ATM/debit card:

Monitor your account balances and transaction history.

You should check your account balances and transaction history periodically. It’s also important to know the bank or credit union you’re using is secure.

If you see something suspicious, contact your bank or credit union immediately. If it turns out to be fraudulent activity, they can help you dispute the charge and protect your money from being stolen by criminals.

Keep your card in a safe place at all times.

If you want to protect yourself from fraudulent charges on your ATM/debit card, you must keep your card in a safe place at all times. This means that it shouldn’t be left in your purse or wallet, which could easily be stolen (or lost).

It also shouldn’t be left in the car—if someone breaks into your vehicle, they will likely see and steal any valuables they can find. The same applies if you have an ATM/debit card with you while walking around town: if someone bumps into you or grabs at your pockets, there’s a good chance they’ll grab the little plastic rectangle with all of its numbers and security codes written on it too!

  • To avoid these situations—and more—make sure that when using an ATM/Debit Card for purchases or withdrawals from banks and other establishments, as well as cash machines (ATMs),
  • always keep both hands on the machine where others can’t see them;
  • never let anyone else touch either side of the said machine unless necessary due to physical limitations; never leave one’s self alone during such activities without knowing exactly what is happening around them at all times;
  • call the local police immediately after noticing anything suspicious about another person using this same machine before doing any further business whatsoever with them;
  • don’t forget about fingerprint identification technology used by many larger financial institutions today so make sure yours has been updated recently if not already done so within last ten years or so before attempting access again!

Cover the keypad when you enter your PIN into the PIN pad.

  • Cover the keypad when entering your PIN.
  • Use a hand or other object to cover the keypad as you enter it so that no one looking over your shoulder can see what you’re typing. This also prevents them from reading any light emitted from the keypad and helps prevent skimmers from stealing information.
  • Use an ATM instead of a store counter when possible. The machines at stores are often smaller and more likely to be positioned in a place where people are standing behind them (for example, in front of the cash register), which means there’s less privacy for anyone using that ATM.

If you give someone your ATM/Debit Card number, do so only as a last resort.

If you give someone your ATM/Debit Card number, do so only as a last resort. If someone else needs your card number, make sure it’s only for something you trust them to do. Don’t give out your PIN either.

If someone calls and says the bank needs to verify a transaction on your account or fix something with the automated system, don’t give them any information without first calling the bank yourself and verifying that it’s legitimate (at this point, there is no way for an imposter to know whether or not they need to verify transactions on your account).

Be cautious of people looking over your shoulder when you make a transaction.

  • Be cautious of people looking over your shoulder when you make a transaction.
  • Don’t let strangers get close to you.
  • Don’t let strangers see your PIN.
  • Don’t let strangers see your card or even the numbers that can be deciphered by observing where they are located and how they are printed.
  • Don’t tell anyone what your account balance is, who uses the account regularly (especially children) when bills will be paid (especially if it’s a payday), or any other information that could help someone with ill intent gain access to one of these accounts and make purchases using them.

Ask if the terminal is working properly before inserting your card.

The first thing you should do is ask the person using the machine if it is working properly. If they say yes, proceed with inserting your card into the slot on top of the device.

If they respond with a shrug or an expression that says “I don’t know,” don’t use it! This could mean that either their card has been compromised and fraudulent charges are being made from other ATMs, or someone has tampered with this specific ATM to steal money from anyone using it.

If there are any suspicious signs about the machine (such as visible damage), don’t use it! You may think that you are fine because everything looks okay, but there could be something hidden behind those covers where plastic has been placed over small holes through which data can be transferred wirelessly without your knowledge.

Some thieves will even put fake buttons around these areas, so people will think they have pressed one when in fact, nothing happens at all except for them handing over their PINs and money to criminals who now have access to an unlimited amount of cash thanks to technology’s ability to make things work perfectly fine even when they aren’t working at all!

Be wary of requests for your account information over the phone or Internet by someone who claims to be a representative of your bank or credit union.

The bank will never ask for your account information over the phone or Internet. If you receive a call from someone claiming to be a representative of your bank or credit union, hang up and call the company directly to verify their identity.

If you are asked for your password, even if it’s supposedly needed to help protect against fraud, do not give it out.

When ordering checks, choose delivery methods secured by signature only (no delivery to mailboxes).

  • Signature-only delivery. Please choose this option, and your checks will be delivered to your door with a signature required for them to be left on the doorstep or inside.
  • No delivery to mailboxes. Do not allow checks to be left at mailboxes or in mail slots, as there is no way for you (or anyone else) to verify that they weren’t stolen from there after being delivered by mistake!
  • No email delivery. This allows anyone who has access to the Internet and knows your account number or routing number (which can often be found online via a simple Google search) access your bank account information without any authentication whatsoever!
  • No electronic delivery (including but not limited to: text messages and phone calls). Although these are convenient methods of contact with businesses when dealing with fraudsters who pose as representatives from banks who falsely claim there’s been some problem detected with their accounts, please don’t fall for it!

If it were real, then those companies would contact people directly through those methods instead of just contacting them via email anyways, so please remember never to give away any personal info over social media like Facebook Messenger because someone could easily hack into it by pretending they’re someone else entirely like maybe even one day pretending they’re somebody close enough friend whom may know another person who should get hacked first before

If you are uncomfortable doing business with a merchant, use an alternative form of payment.

If you are uncomfortable doing business with a merchant, use an alternative form of payment.

If you’re uncomfortable with a merchant, use cash instead. It’s as simple as that. However, if they won’t accept your debit card and your only other option is cash, then take the hint and go elsewhere!

You can also try using your credit card instead of debit because it is protected differently under the law than debit cards are (but beware—credit cards can still be used without your approval).

If the store is refusing to refund or exchange an item even though it was defective or damaged when purchased, try calling the corporate office (if there’s one) or contact their customer service line.

If you are expecting a replacement card or new checks that do not arrive after a reasonable period, call your bank or credit union.

If you are expecting a replacement card or new checks that do not arrive after a reasonable period, call your bank or credit union. If you lost your card and did not report it immediately, there is a chance that someone could have used your information to make purchases on their account. This can be very dangerous if someone who has stolen your information is illegally using it.

If your card is lost or stolen, report it immediately! Thieves are usually looking to steal ATM cards because they allow quick access to money without requiring face-to-face interaction. Often there are fees associated with these kinds of transactions.

Hence, if possible, try not to use ATMs in unsafe areas such as dark alleys if at all possible because this can increase risk exposure significantly as well as cause trouble if something goes wrong during the transaction process itself (e.g., getting stuck in line behind someone who doesn’t realize how much longer they need so they stay put while others move forward while waiting).

Good habits help protect you from fraudulent charges!

Here are some good habits that can help protect you from fraudulent charges:

  • Keep a close eye on your account. Always check your bank statement for any suspicious activity, even if it’s only once every few months. If something looks out of place or seems like a charge that shouldn’t be there, call the bank immediately to report it and get it resolved before too much money is taken out of your account.
  • Check ATMs regularly for skimming devices—thieves use small devices to steal information from cards as they slide them through card readers at ATMs or gas stations (or anywhere else where people swipe their debit cards). Look around at other people standing nearby before you swipe to ensure there isn’t anyone lurking nearby with nefarious intentions; if all seems clear, go ahead and take out some cash!
  • Never use an ATM unless it belongs directly to a branch of your bank; this means no chain-store ATMs or ones in retail stores like Walmart and Target—they’re less secure than bank machines because there’s often no camera monitoring their operation (and thus less evidence if something goes wrong). If you have trouble getting cash from one branch of the same bank as another across town due to heavy demand, try going during off hours instead; otherwise, wait until later when things have cooled down again.


You can help protect yourself against fraudulent charges by following these tips. The key is to be aware of your surroundings, keep your card in a safe place and cover the keypad when entering your PIN.

If you give someone your ATM/Debit Card number, do so only as a last resort and always ask if the terminal is working properly before inserting your card into it. Be wary of people looking over your shoulder when making transactions at ATMs, over the phone, or on the Internet by someone who claims to be a representative of your bank or credit union.

Also, choose delivery methods secured by signature only (no delivery to mailboxes) when ordering checks. Always remember, if you are uncomfortable doing business with a merchant, use an alternative form of payment such as cash or another credit card!

Finally, if you expect replacement cards or new checks after a reasonable time has passed, call the customer service department immediately!


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Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) works with World Bank in closing first to market MIGA guaranteed short-term sovereign loan



Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) works with World Bank in closing first to market MIGA guaranteed short-term sovereign loan

Through collaboration with MIGA and the Minister of Economy and Finance for Côte d’Ivoire, RMB facilitated a short-term loan to support crucial trade related initiatives

Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) (, a division of FirstRand Bank Limited, has achieved a significant milestone in Africa by partnering with the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), a member of the World Bank, to extend short-term funding support on a trade-backed facility for the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire.

Through collaboration with  MIGA and the Minister of Economy and Finance for Côte d’Ivoire, RMB facilitated a short-term loan to support crucial trade related initiatives.

Said Ben Bechet from RMB’s Trade and Working Capital, Structured Solutions team: “While RMB has a proud history of supporting sovereigns on the continent with their funding and capital markets requirements, this is a first of its kind facility for an African sovereign. This transaction will pave the way for further MIGA guaranteed short-term facilities across the continent to assist with developmental initiatives, critical projects and the importation of crucial goods such as food, fertilizer and medicines alongside other resources.”

Clarine Stenfert, Global Trade Finance Head and Head of UK for MIGA, said: “Through deep collaboration with RMB and MIGA, the teams were able to successfully structure and execute a process we hope to scale and introduce to other African countries. MIGA’s Trade Finance Guarantee Framework seeks to support sovereigns or sub-sovereigns across emerging markets with their trade financing requirements, alleviating the current liquidity constraints imposed by the current high inflationary environment and the retreat from markets by private sector players.”

MIGA provides political risk insurance guarantees to private sectors and investors in a broad range of sectors in developing  economies. MIGA promotes foreign direct investment into developing countries to support economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve people’s lives. MIGA fulfills this mandate by offering political risk insurance guarantees and credit enhancement to private sector investors and lenders.

“RMB’s strategy entails forging partnerships with insurance, guarantee and export credit agency providers to extend meaningful funding support to our clients across Africa. Collaboration with development financial institutions and multilaterals remains key to truly unlocking new opportunities to support our clients, concluded Bechet.”

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Rand Merchant Bank.

About RMB:
Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) is a leading African corporate and investment bank (CIB) and part of the largest financial services group (by market capitalisation) in Africa – FirstRand Bank Limited (which is wholly owned by FirstRand Limited). We offer our clients innovative, value-added advisory, funding, trading, corporate banking, and principal investing solutions.
With a presence in 10 African countries, we have a significant footprint on the continent. We also have access to a network of retail banks, representative offices and branches across Africa, the UK, India and the US.

At RMB we are passionate about solving problems for our clients by asking the hard questions. We challenge accepted thinking. We analyse and seek solutions beyond the obvious. We are innovative in our thinking and turn challenges into opportunities, while delivering on Traditional values. Innovative ideas. Our ability to think differently, our collaborative spirit, our client-centric solutions and our belief that great minds don’t always have to think alike, is what sets us apart.

For more information visit:

About MIGA:
MIGA was created in 1988 as a member of the World Bank to promote foreign direct investment in emerging economies by helping to mitigate the risks of restrictions on currency conversion and transfer, breach of contract by governments, expropriation, and war and civil disturbance; and offering credit enhancement to private investors and lenders. Since its creation, MIGA has issued over $76 billion in guarantees across 123 developing countries, supporting more than 1,000 projects. Over the past decade, MIGA’s guarantees have generated more than 156,000 jobs in developing countries.

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Equatorial Guinea and Ghana Accede to the Establishment Agreement for Afreximbank’s Fund for Export Development in Africa (FEDA)



The Fund for Export Development in Africa (FEDA), the development impact-focused subsidiary of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) (, has announced that the Republic of Equatorial Guinea and the Republic of Ghana have recently signed the FEDA Establishment Agreement.

This important milestone is the result of several months of cooperation between Afreximbank, FEDA and government officials in Equatorial Guinea and Ghana.

As Afreximbank member states, Equatorial Guinea and Ghana have taken another step towards closer collaborations with FEDA by signing the FEDA Establishment Agreement. This milestone marks the countries’ support for Afreximbank’s efforts to extend FEDA’s impact investing objectives across the continent.

New memberships are crucial to broaden the scope of FEDA’s interventions and its mission of delivering long-term capital to African economies with a focus on industrialization, intra-African trade and value-added exports.

Professor Benedict Oramah, President of Afreximbank and Chairman of the Boards of both Afreximbank and FEDA, said: “We heartily welcome the signing of the FEDA Establishment Agreement by the Republic of Equatorial Guinea and the Republic of Ghana. The signing of the FEDA Establishment Agreement lays the groundwork for an enhanced and more effective cooperation with better access to the full range of interventions offered by Afreximbank and FEDA. This milestone builds on the solid partnership already established with both Equatorial Guinea and Ghana. The aim is to support transformative investments in these countries in the near future.”

About FEDA:
The Fund for Export Development in Africa (“FEDA”) is the impact investment subsidiary of Afreximbank set up to provide equity, quasi-equity, and debt capital to finance the multi-billion-dollar funding gap (particularly in equity) needed to transform the Trade sector in Africa. FEDA pursues a multi-sector investment strategy along the intra-African trade, value-added export development, and manufacturing value chain which includes financial services, technology, consumer and retail goods, manufacturing, transport & logistics, agribusiness, as well as ancillary trade enabling infrastructure such as industrial parks.

About Afreximbank:
African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) is a Pan-African multilateral financial institution mandated to finance and promote intra-and extra-African trade. For 30 years, the Bank has been deploying innovative structures to deliver financing solutions that support the transformation of the structure of Africa’s trade, accelerating industrialization and intra-regional trade, thereby boosting economic expansion in Africa. A stalwart supporter of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), Afreximbank has launched a Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS) that was adopted by the African Union (AU) as the payment and settlement platform to underpin the implementation of the AfCFTA. Working with the AfCFTA Secretariat and the AU, the Bank is setting up a US$10 billion Adjustment Fund to support countries to effectively participate in the AfCFTA. At the end of September 2023, Afreximbank’s total assets and guarantees stood at over US$33.4 billion, and its shareholder funds amounted to US$5.8 billion. The Bank disbursed more than US$104 billion between 2016 and 2023. Afreximbank has investment grade ratings assigned by GCR (international scale) (A), Moody’s (Baa1), Japan Credit Rating Agency (JCR) (A-) and Fitch (BBB). Afreximbank has evolved into a group entity comprising the Bank, its impact fund subsidiary called the Fund for Export Development Africa (FEDA), and its insurance management subsidiary, AfrexInsure, (together, “the Group”). The Bank is headquartered in Cairo, Egypt.

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Financial Analysis: A Comprehensive Study of The Well-Being of A Country 




Financial Analysis: A Comprehensive Study of The Well-Being of A Country

Understanding the financial stability of a country requires a thorough understanding of financial analysis. In order to offer insights into the overall financial stability and overall wellness of the country, it entails evaluating a range of economic indicators, financial performance, and market movements.

In this article, we will delve into the fundamentals and importance of financial analysis in evaluating a country’s economic situation.


Ancient Beginnings:

The roots of financial analysis can be traced back thousands of years. The ancient Mesopotamians, Egyptians, and Greeks were among the pioneers of documenting financial transactions, creating basic records of assets and liabilities. These early attempts laid the groundwork for the concept of financial analysis through the study of financial statements and ledgers.

Medieval Europe:

During the Middle Ages, Europe witnessed the rise of merchant guilds and the emergence of double-entry bookkeeping. Italian mathematician and Franciscan friar, Luca Pacioli, is often credited with formalizing double-entry bookkeeping, publishing his seminal work “Summa de arithmetica, geometria, proportioni et proportionalita” in 1494. The concept of balancing debits and credits within financial records formed the basis for modern financial analysis techniques.

Industrial Revolution:

The Industrial Revolution in the 18th and 19th centuries revolutionized business and the need for financial analysis grew rapidly. As companies expanded and diversified, investors began demanding more comprehensive financial reports to assess the potential risks and returns of their investments. The birth of limited liability companies further accelerated the need for financial analysis, as shareholders sought transparency in the performance of their investments.

Modern Era:

The 20th century witnessed significant advancements in financial analysis techniques. The advent of electronic computing in the mid-1900s enabled the processing and analysis of vast amounts of financial data, leading to the development of sophisticated financial models and ratios.

The Great Depression of the 1930s laid the groundwork for modern financial analysis as regulators sought effective ways to prevent future economic crises. The establishment of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in 1934 brought about standardized reporting requirements, including the filing of audited financial statements. This increased transparency and standardized financial reporting provided analysts with a more accurate and consistent basis for their analysis.

The Rise of Quantitative Analysis:

In the latter half of the 20th century, the growth of computing power and the availability of large data sets propelled financial analysis into new territory. Quantitative analysis, utilizing statistical models and mathematical algorithms, started gaining prominence. Financial analysts began incorporating complex mathematical methods to assess investment opportunities, risk management, and portfolio optimization.

Modern Financial Tools:

With the advent of the internet and the digital age, financial analysis has become even more accessible and data-driven. Sophisticated software programs, data analytics tools, and artificial intelligence have revolutionized the way financial data is analyzed and interpreted. In recent years, technologies like machine learning have been leveraged to develop predictive models that can assess future trends and make accurate financial forecasts.


Financial analysis is the process of evaluating businesses, projects, budgets, and other finance-related transactions to determine their performance and suitability. Typically, financial analysis is used to analyze whether an entity is stable, solvent, liquid, or profitable enough to warrant a monetary investment.

Financial analysis is a fundamental tool that allows organizations and individuals to assess the past, present, and future financial health of a business or investment. Through a systematic examination and interpretation of financial statements, ratios, and other key indicators, financial analysis helps in making informed decisions, optimizing resources, and improving overall financial performance. In this article, we will delve into the meaning of financial analysis, its prominent components, and its significance across various sectors.

Financial analysis involves scrutinizing financial data to evaluate the performance and profitability of an entity. It assists in quantifying the effectiveness of financial decisions, identifying trends, predicting future outcomes, and benchmarking against industry standards. By analyzing financial statements, investors, analysts, and other stakeholders gain valuable insights into the financial position, liquidity, solvency, and operational efficiency of an organization.


  1. Gross Domestic Product (GDP): GDP is a primary indicator used to gauge the economic performance of a nation. Financial analysts analyze GDP growth rates and its components, such as consumer spending, government expenditure, investments, and net exports. This analysis helps in determining the overall strength of the economy and identifying areas of potential growth.
  2. Trade and Balance of Payments: Trade analysis focuses on a country’s imports, exports, and balance of payments. Evaluating trade patterns helps identify sectors driving the country’s economic growth, trade imbalances, and potential risks to the economy from external factors such as changes in global demand or disruptions in supply chains.
  3. Inflation and Interest Rates: Analyzing inflation rates and interest rates provides insights into the stability of a country’s economy. High inflation erodes purchasing power, while high-interest rates can impact borrowing costs, affect consumer spending, and investment behavior. Financial analysts assess the impact of inflation and interest rates on an economy’s overall competitiveness and economic growth potential.
  4. Government Debt and Fiscal Policy: Analyzing a country’s government debt levels and fiscal policy is crucial in understanding its financial sustainability. A high level of government debt may lead to increased borrowing costs, reduced investor confidence, and potential risks to economic stability. Evaluating fiscal policies helps determine whether a country is managing its finances effectively and implementing sustainable economic growth strategies.
  5. Stock Market Performance: The stock market reflects investor sentiment and provides valuable insights into a country’s economic outlook. Analysts evaluate key stock market indices, such as the country’s primary exchange, sector-specific indices, and market capitalization trends. Monitoring stock market performance allows for an understanding of investor confidence, economic growth expectations, and potential risks to the financial system.
  6. Banking Sector and Financial Institutions: A robust banking sector is essential for economic stability. Financial analysts assess the health of the banking system by evaluating indicators such as non-performing loans, capital adequacy ratios, and the overall stability and soundness of financial institutions. Understanding the well-being of financial institutions helps gauge the potential risks to the overall economy, including credit availability, liquidity, and financial contagion.
  7. Regulatory Environment and Governance: The regulatory environment and governance play a critical role in attracting investment and fostering economic growth. Financial analysts assess the effectiveness of regulatory frameworks, transparency in financial transactions, and the overall credibility and efficiency of institutions responsible for enforcing regulations. Evaluating the regulatory environment aids in understanding potential risks and opportunities for sustainable economic development.


Financial analysis plays a vital role across various sectors, serving the following purposes:

  1. Evaluating Financial Performance: By conducting a comprehensive financial analysis, companies can assess their performance, profitability, and financial stability. This, in turn, helps in identifying areas for improvement, developing strategic plans, and making sound financial decisions.
  2. Assessing Investment Viability: Investors rely on financial analysis to evaluate the profitability and risks associated with potential investments. Through detailed scrutiny of financial data, investors can determine the financial health and growth prospects of a company, aiding in making informed investment decisions.
  3. Facilitating Lending Decisions: Financial institutions utilize financial analysis to assess the creditworthiness of loan applicants. By analyzing financial statements, evaluating ratios, and assessing the risk profile, lenders can ascertain the borrower’s ability to repay loans and make sound lending decisions.
  4. Supporting Strategic Decision-Making: Financial analysis aids in strategic decision-making, such as expansion, diversification, or mergers and acquisitions. Understanding a company’s financial position and performance provides a foundation for evaluating the feasibility and potential outcomes of such decisions.


Conducting a comprehensive financial analysis provides valuable insights into the economic landscape of a country. By evaluating indicators such as GDP, trade patterns, inflation rates, government debt, stock market performance, banking sector health, and regulatory environment, financial analysts can gauge the overall financial health, identify potential risks, and recommend strategies for sustainable economic growth. Accurate and timely financial analysis acts as a compass, guiding policymakers, investors, and businesses to make informed decisions and contribute to the overall prosperity of the nation.

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