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CBN partners global fintech for its digital currency

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The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has announced an international fintech startup, Bitt Inc. as the Technical Partner for its digital currency. named eNaira, which is billed for unveiling October 1, this year.

Godwin Emefiele, CBN governor, disclosed the development in Abuja on Monday.
The governor listed the benefits of the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) which include increased cross-border trade, accelerated financial inclusion, cheaper and faster remittance inflows, and easier targeted social interventions.

CBN selected Bitt Inc among other highly competitive bidders, based on the company’s technological competence, efficiency, platform security, interoperability, and implementation experience.

In its decision for selecting Bitt Inc, the CBN’s spokesperson, Osita Nwanisobi, said in a statement that it relied on the company’s tested and proven digital currency experience, which is already in circulation in several Eastern Caribbean Countries.
Nwanisobi also said the decision of the CBN has now become a global trend with over 85 percent of Central Banks are currently exploring the adaptation of digital currencies in their countries.

The apex bank stated that Bitt Inc. was instrumental in the development and successful launch of the central bank digital currency (CBDC) pilot of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) in April 2021.

The apex bank had on July 22 during a private webinar with stakeholders outlined a digital currency initiative.
If the pilot scheme is eventually launched, Nigeria will join other countries across the globe and Africa racing to develop its CBDC.

Fintech

Top 8 fintech companies in Nigeria

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Fintech took the lead in the 2020 funding with more startups securing funding than any other sector In all, 99 fintech startups raised investment over the course of the year, representing 24.9 percent of the overall total.

Fintech industry in Nigeria has witnessed tremendous growth over the years. Although it’s emerging yet one can’t deny the fact that it is a fast-moving sector. A lot of foreign investors have also shown interest in the sector by investing massively.

Below, we look at the list of the top 8 fintech companies in Nigeria in no particular order:

1. Paystack

Paystack, founded in 2015 by Ezra Olubi and Shola Akinlade, is an online payment solution that provides a quick way to integrate payments services into an online or offline transaction by way of an API, serving Nigeria and some other Africa countries. Paystack has played a critical role not just in Nigeria’s fintech sector but also in Africa and their customers include small businesses, larger corporates, fintech, and educational institutions. It made a  big announcement last year October when it announced that it has been acquired by Stripe the same company that led its Series A funding at a whopping amount of $200M making it the biggest startup acquisition to date to have ever come out of Nigeria.

2. Flutterwave

Olugbenga Agboola and Iyinoluwa Aboyeji co-founded Flutterwave in 2018. The headquarter is based in San Francisco with offices in Lagos. Flutterwave provides a payment infrastructure for global merchants and payment service providers

Flutterwave helps businesses build customizable payments applications through its APIs. Flutterwave says more than 290,000 businesses use its platform to carry out payments.

3. Paga

Paga was Founded in 2012 by Tayo Oviosu and Jay Alibaba, and is a leading payment and mobile money business and it allows people to receive international money transfers directly on their mobile devices through the use of Paga mobile money wallet. Paga currently has 17,379,708 customers and 27,623 agents.

4. Interswitch

Interswitch is an integrated payment and transaction processing company headquartered in Lagos. Interswitch was founded in 2002 by Mitchell Elegbe.

In 2019, Interswitch confirmed that it has reached unicorn status after Visa acquired a minority of the firm’s stake making the company one of the most valuable African fintech businesses with a valuation of $1 billion

Interswitch also offers a number of personal and business finance products such as its Verve payment cards and Quickteller payment app when it launched in February 2021.

5. Paylater (Carbon)

Paylater was founded by Chijioke Dozie, Ngozi Dozie, and launched in March 2016  when it first introduced instant loans without criteria. Four years later, it rebranded as Carbon. Carbon operates a loan app that gives short loans through its mobile app, making the process paperless and quick.

One Finance (OneFi) which is the company’s parent company secured a $5 million debt facility from Lendable in March 2019. A month after, the company transitioned to a fully-fledged digital financial services platform that now offers bill payments, fund transfers, and savings products, in addition to loans. The company’s co-founder and CEO, Chijioke Dozie, described the decision to transit as deliberate.

6. Kuda Bank

Kuda Bank was founded by Babs Ogundeyi and Mustapha Musty in 2016 and it started out as Kudimoney (“the bank of the free”). In June 2019, it rebranded as Kuda and received a banking license from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to launch a full-service digital bank.

The founder Babs said in 2019 Kuda is the first digital-only bank in Nigeria with a standalone license and that it is not a mobile wallet or simply a mobile app piggybacking on an existing bank.

In March 2021, the fintech startup secured a US$25 million Series A funding round led by New York-based venture capital firm Valar Ventures.

 

7. PiggyVest

PiggyVest, formerly known as a piggybank.ng is the largest online savings and investing platform in Nigeria. They rebranded to become PiggyVest in 2019 and also began to offer investment opportunities to users besides savings.

8. Cowrywise

Cowrywise was founded in the year 2017 by Edward Popoola and Razaq Ahmed. It is quite similar Piggyvest in operation and it is used for saving and investing. In January 2021, the fintech startup raised $3 million in pre-Series A funding round led by Quona capital. The app boasts of having 220,000 registered users and with the aim to have 10 million registered users by 2025.

 

 

 

 

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India’s Central Bank Set to Launch Digital Currency by December

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The Reserve Bank of India could  launch its first digital currency pilot programs by December.

The development was disclosed to CNBC by India’s Central Bank governor, Shaktikanta Das.

According to him, he said, “We are being extremely careful about it because it’s completely a new product, not just for RBI, but globally,”

He said further “I think by the end of the year, we should be able to — we would be in a position, perhaps — to start our first trials,”
T Rabi Shankar which is his deputy had earlier announced in July that the apex bank was working toward a “phased implemental strategy” for a digital currency.

According to the governor, the RBI is planning to explore many aspects of a digital currency, which includes its security, influence on India’s financial industry, and how it would affect monetary policy and cash in circulation.

Das went on to say that the central bank is weighing the pros and cons of using a centralized ledger for digital money against using so-called distributed ledger technology (DLT).

A distributed ledger technology (DLT) is a digital database that allows a good number of users to access, share, and record transactions at the same time. The database is owned and managed by a single entity, and in this case, the central bank — in a centralized ledger.

Central bank digital currencies or CBDCs are essentially the online versions of their respective fiat currencies. That would be known as the digital rupee in India’s scenario.

Some central banks including those in Nigeria, China, Europe, and the U.K. are all exploring digital currencies that would be issued by them, either to commercial lenders or to the general public.

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Fintech

Best 5 ways to send money from USA to Nigeria bank account

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Sending money from the United State of America (USA) to a Nigeria bank account is very possible and can be done easily. There are many fintech companies that have made sending US dollars to Nigeria bank account achievable. This means that you don’t have to be stuck with one method of transferring the money if you notice that you are not too satisfied with their service.

There are many transactions that happen online every second which involve the transferring of money from one account to another without any border barrier, and in this article, we shall be looking at the various ways you can send money from the USA to Nigeria bank account easily.
Note: Following the directive from the Central Bank of Nigeria, all payouts in Nigeria will be in US dollars. This implies that the ending of money into a Nigeria Naira bank account will not be available until further notice from CBN.

Five (5) ways you can send money from the USA to Nigeria

1. WorldRemit: WorldRemit remains one of the most reliable to send money across borders.
To send money using WorldRemit, follow these steps:

  • Choose the option of how you want to send the money to the recipient in Nigeria. The options include bank transfer, cash pickup, and airtime top-up service.
  • Select the person you are sending to and if it’s a new receiver, add the person’s details.
  • Choose your method of payment. Supported payment methods are debit, credit, or prepaid cards, Android and Apple Pay.

WorldRemit stated on their website that cash picks up is available in USD from their cash pick-up locations, and also, bank transfers to Nigeria are available in USD with Nigeria banks like GTBank, Acess Bank, FCMB, Fidelity, and UBA.

2. MoneyGram: Although MoneyGram is old, but yet, it is still one of the most reliable ways you can send money to Nigeria from the USA. With over 350,000 agent locations and 400 bank partners around the world, MoneyGram occupies the position of the second-largest global money transfer service after Western Union.

To send money from the USA to Nigeria, follow these simple steps:

  • Go to MoneyGram.com or use the mobile app
  • Provide the recipient’s details
  • Select your payment method. You have a credit or debit card, and you can also choose to pay directly from your bank account.
  • Verify and send. Once you have confirmed that all the details you provided are correct, you can then send.

3. WesternUnion: Western Union is a good choice you can go with to send money to Nigeria from the USA and is considered to be the biggest money transfer service provider in the world.
WesternUnion gives you three different options on how you can send money to Nigeria:

  • westernunion.com,
  • APP
  • In-person using any of the 55,000 agent locations in the US

Payment methods on WesternUnion include:

  • Debit or credit card
  • Apple Pay
  • Direct payment from your bank account
  • Payment in cash at an agent location

4. Flutterwave: Flutterwave is a Nigeria fintech company, and it recently partnered with  U.S. payments giant, Paypal. Users can use Barter by Fluterwave to make transactions online with options of various currencies.

If you want to send money to Nigeria from the USA, follow these simple steps:

  • If you don’t have the Barter app, first download and install it.
  • Register your details on the app
  • Navigate to the “Send Money” button and click/tap it to send to the recipient in Nigeria
  • The receiver will see the USD you sent beside the Nigerian naira (NGN) balance.
  • From there, e receiver can cash the money received into a DOM account or an NGN account

 

You can also send a remittance from the USA to Nigeria in USD by sending it to a DOM account.

5. Paystack: Paystack is similar to Flutterwave in operation and it is us. Primarily, Paystack is a payment gateway on websites used by small businesses and freelancers to receive payment across the world. However, users can also use it to send money to another user provided that the recipient has a Paystack account.
To send money using Paystack, the recipient must create a Paystack account, generate a payment link from their dashboard. The recipient should send you the payment link they generated and you can make payment using either your debit or credit card.

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