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MTN AGAIN: How The Company’s Greed Have Led Banks To Cut It Off From USSD Platform. – For Arbitrarily Reducing Commission!

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The issue with MTN Airtime distribution and vending through the Banks is completely different from the Telco USSD services billing.

Telco USSD services billing is an industry-wide issue, both for the Telecoms and Banking industries, and it is about the determination of the best way to bill joint customers of the MNOs and Banks for the USSD service provided by the MNOs when it is used to Access Banking Services.

 

However, for this MTN Airtime sale through the Banks, on March 30 MTN acting unilaterally on its own, without consultation or negotiation with the Banks, who are part of its Airtime distribution chain, reduced the commission paid to the Banks for helping MTN sell its Airtime from 4% to 2.5%. This puts the Banks in a precarious and economic loss position, as the cost of fraud and airtime vending infrastructure maintenance by the banks outweigh the new commission rate imposed by MTN.  One will wonder why it is only MTN doing this and no other companies in the Telco industry.

 

To mitigate this risk of economic loss, all Banks, as an industry, requested MTN to maintain the status quo but all effort by the Banks to hold a discussion with MTN on this issue fell on deaf ears. To protect their businesses from the adverse economic impact, all Banks in the Financial industry decided to suspend the vending and distribution of MTN Airtime through their channels until such a time that a favorable rate is agreed with MTN.

 

Last night, some commercial banks have yanked off MTN From their USSD, airtime purchase, and other online services from the MTN network due to the disagreement between the financial institutions and the telecommunication company on the amount to be charged.

The implication is that you cannot make a purchase from any bank.

It was however reported by a national daily, that the bank Chief Executive Officers had at a recent meeting agreed to shut down the purchase of MTN services across all their channels beginning from 11 pm last night until further notice.

An attempt by SOCIETY REPORTERS to purchase airtime from GTBank last night showed that the commercial bank had removed MTN among the network its customers could purchase airtime from.

However, another Bank was still offering the service as of midnight.

A source close to the banks explained that the disagreement arose after MTN recently reduced the discount offered to banks on airtime sales

A top bank official, who pleaded to remain anonymous, said other banks are expected to comply with the decision of their CEOs from today.

He disclosed that over 60 percent of airtime vending by telcos presently was done electronically through the banks.

The CBN and the NCC, had in a recent communique issued at the end of a meeting to resolve the disagreement on USSD fee between the banks and telcos agree that with effect from March 16, 2021, USSD services for financial transactions conducted at banks and all CBN- licensed institutions would be a flat rate of N6.98k per transaction.

This replaced the previous per session billing structure, ensuring a much cheaper average cost for customers to ensure financial inclusion.

“To promote transparency, the new USSD charges will be collected on behalf of MNOs directly from customers’ bank accounts. “Banks shall not impose additional charges on customers for the use of USSD channel. “A settlement plan for outstanding payments incurred for USSD services previously rendered by the MNOs is being worked out by all parties in a bid to ensure that the matter is fully resolved,” the communiqué explained.

In a bid to respond to the entire story, MTN has sent out messages to its subscribers confirming that its banking services are not available. read the message below.

Dear Customer, our bank recharge channels are currently unavailable. Kindly recharge using physical cards. We apologise for the inconvenience. Thank you.

BY: SUNDAY ADEBAYO.

 

News and Report

Ebenezer Onyeagwu: Zenith Bank GMD Preaches increased impact investment for Africa at global summit

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Group Managing Director/Chief Executive of Zenith Bank plc, Mr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu, has called for increased impact investing in Africa to enable it attain its full potential. He made the call during his keynote address at the Africa Investment Risk & Compliance Summit 2021 organised by the Emerging Business Intelligence & Innovation (EBII) Group which held at the prestigious University of Oxford, United Kingdom, at the weekend.

Onyeagwu delivered his keynote address after the special keynote address by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, who was Special Guest of Honour.

Also at the event was Dr Amani ABOU-ZEID, African Union Commissioner in charge of Infrastructure and Energy, who delivered a keynote address at the Summit.

Delivering the keynote address with the theme “Leveraging Impact Investment Opportunities for Growth in Africa”, Onyeagwu described impact investing as an investment that yields optimal returns for investors, value for all stakeholders, and guarantees continued sustenance and existence of humanity. He decried the shallowness of Africa’s financial market as reflected in the fact that no African exchange is among the Morgan Stanley developed markets index, with only two African exchanges (Egypt and South Africa) in the MSCI Emerging Markets Index, and just six African exchanges in the MSCI Frontier Market Index.

He noted that although the International Finance Corporation (IFC) estimates that the global investors’ appetite for impact investing could total as much as $26 trillion, only approximately 8percent of the assets of impact intent funds are focused on Africa. According to him, this is not significant enough, and Africa appears to be in the room but not on the table, considering that the continent is in dire need of investment with its estimated 1.3 billion people represent about 17percent of the global population of about 7.8 billion.

Citing the immense opportunities in Africa that represent enormous investment proposition for discerning investors, including the huge population, large market and active labour force, and the rich natural endowment, Onyeagwu described Africa as “the new frontier” for global growth. He made a case for increased impact investment in in the continent noting that investment opportunities cut across agriculture, healthcare, housing, infrastructure, electricity, and the creative sectors.

Onyeagwu expressed optimism on the coming into effect of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) initiative, targeting to create a single, continent-wide market for goods and services, business and investment that grants investors access to the entire continent. He also called on investors’ attention to Africa’s rich natural endowment, which includes 60percent of the world’s uncultivated arable land and 9 percent of the world’s freshwater bodies, noting that Africa holds enormous potential for organic food production. He, therefore implored investors in the agribusiness value chain to focus attention in Africa for organic food production instead of genetically modified food in other climes.

Onyeagwu also noted that as a socially responsible organisation, Zenith Bank would continue to promote impact investment in Africa, stressing that the bank has maintained strong advocacy for investment in Africa through its flagship sponsorship of “Inside Africa” on CNN for 16 consecutive years, which is helping to highlight the immense creativity and talent that abound on the continent and the enormous investment opportunities on the African continent. He also said that the bank leverages its in-depth knowledge of the African market to guide investors and hedge their exposures. According to him, the bank has been on a steady Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) investment journey, which started with ESG integration as a business strategy as well as being a signatory to the Nigerian Principles for Sustainable Banking and the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) Principles for Responsible Banking.

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EFCC arraigns four for N900 million POS fraud

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The anti-graft agency says the prime suspect connived with some staff members of First Bank to defraud customers using a POS terminal allocated to him.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday arraigned four defendants for fraud involving over N900 million Point of Sale (POS) transactions.

A statement by the commission said Naankang Dawan was arraigned along with his companies – Taen Nigeria Ltd, Lataen Engineering Ltd – and Moruf Tunji Olukanmi, at the Federal High Court in Jos, Plateau State.

Wilson Uwujaren, EFCC’s spokesperson, who signed the statement, said the defendants were arraigned on 31 counts of “conspiracy, money laundering and obtaining N908, 108, 974.52 by false pretence.”

The commission alleged that Mr Dawan who inherited some companies including a petrol station from his family, connived with some staff members of First Bank, including Moruf Tunji Olukanmi (fourth defendant), to defraud customers using a POS terminal allocated to him.

They pleaded not guilty to the charges when read to them before the trial judge, D. V Agishi, the statement said.

READ FULL STATEMENT

EFCC Press Release

EFCC Arraigns Four for N900m POS Fraud in Jos

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, today July 12, 2021 arraigned Naankang Dawan, his companies: Taen Nigeria Ltd, Lataen Engineering Ltd alongside Moruf Tunji Olukanmi before Justice D. V Agishi of the Federal High Court, Jos, Plateau State on a 31-count charge bordering on conspiracy, money laundering and obtaining N908, 108, 974.52 (Nine Hundred and Eight Million, One Hundred and Eight Thousand, Nine Hundred and Seventy Four Naira and Fifty Two Kobo) by false pretence.

Naankang Dawan (first defendant), who allegedly inherited some companies including a petrol station from his family, connived with some staff of First Bank, including Moruf Tunji Olukanmi (fourth defendant), to defraud costumers using a Point of Sale (POS) terminal allocated to him.

Count two of the charge reads, “That you, Naankang Dawan being the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Taen Nigeria Limited, Taen Nigeria Limited, Doyin Adesanya (at Large), Samuel Temitope Falese (at large), Ebenezer Oni Kehinde (at large) and Mariam Babatunde Olabisi (at large) between October 2017 to November 2017 within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, with intent to defraud, manipulated First Bank of Nigeria Plc Point of Sale (POS) terminal issued to Taen Nigeria Limited and by so doing fraudulently credited Tean Nigeria Limited account Number: 2025956973 domiciled with First Bank Nigeria Plc with the sum of N908,108,974.52 (Nine Hundred and Eight Million, One Hundred and Eight Thousand , Nine Hundred and Seventy Four Naira and Fifty Two kobo) only and thereby committed an offense contrary to Section 30(1) of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, Etc.) Act, 2015”.

The defendants pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Based on their pleas, prosecution counsel Benjamin Manji asked for a trial date and that the suspects be remanded at the Correctional Centre pending trial.

But defence counsel, A.G Yirvoms informed the Court of a pending application for the bail of his clients.

Justice Agishi adjourned the case till July 26, 2021 for consideration of bail application and October 6, 2021 for trial.

Wilson Uwujaren

Head, Media & Publicity

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ALAT to reward customers with cash prizes for Referrals throughout 2021.

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ALAT users nationwide with active accounts who have done at least three transactions in the last six months as well as referring other users are to be rewarded with cash prizes and may also win one of the three star prizes in the ongoing earn on the go campaign.

At the beginning of this year, ALAT, Wema Bank’s revolutionary digital banking app, launched its earn on the go campaign, allowing members of its Trybe to not only earn money on the app but also stand a chance to win one of the three grand prizes at the end of the year.

For the duration of this campaign, all ALAT users with an active account, who have carried out at least 3 transactions in the last 6 months will be given a unique referral code.

“This code is used to track the number of referrals made from a single account, whereby a customer receives one thousand Naira for every successful invitation to join the ALAT Trybe.

“While referrals are ongoing, we will be tracking all our users’ progress and by December reward the top three referrers with prizes worth our one hundred thousand Naira”, the bank said in a sattement..

The first-place winner will receive the grand prize worth N350,000, while the second place and first runner up, will get a prize worth N200,000.00, and finally in the user that makes it to third place will be giving a prize worth N150,000.00.

To reward the efforts of all participating users, a quarterly raffle draw will be held twice in the year, where twenty people from the list of top hundred referrers will stand a chance to win Ten thousand Naira each.

Founded in 2018, Alat by Wema is the first fully Digital Bank in Nigeria, providing banking services through the bank’s Andriod, iOS, and Web apps to over a hundred thousand users in Nigeria.

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