Ecobank has partnered with Visa to launch Ecobank Scan+Pay with mVisa solutions to their consumers.
The strategic tie-up signals interoperability on a cross border level – and potentially huge gains – as it affords consumers with the ability to use their mobile phone to directly access the funds in their bank accounts to pay person-to-merchant (P2M) or person-to-person (P2P).
Ecobank Scan+Pay with mVisa delivers instant, secure cashless payment for goods and services by allowing customers to scan a QR code on a smartphone or enter a unique merchant identifying code into either a feature phone or smartphone. The payment goes straight from the consumer’s bank account into the merchant’s account and provides real-time notification to both parties.
This serves to accelerate digital commerce and combat some of the challenges merchants have faced using traditional point of sale systems, including the cost of installation coupled with the requirement of electricity and internet connectivity.
Ecobank mVisa solutions also enable customers to send money instantly to any Visa cardholder worldwide. This is a major innovation that serves the need of Africans in the diaspora by enabling them to simply link their Visa card to the Ecobank unified mobile app to send money home to another Visa cardholder quickly and securely.
“We are fulfilling our commitment to give every African the right to participate effectively in the global economy at an affordable price and in a convenient manner. Ecobank Scan+Pay with mVisa helps merchants – particularly small and micro merchants – to grow their sales without the risks of carrying cash whilst also giving consumers the ability to pay for goods and services in a cashless manner from their phones. Consumers can also conduct person-to-person payments and instantly transfer money to their friends and family via their phones at very low cost,” said Ecobank Chief Executive Officer Ade Ayeyemi.
The partnership demonstrates both Ecobank and Visa’s continued commitment to provide financial services to the banked and unbanked in Africa by leveraging digital platforms to offer convenient and affordable payment mechanisms.
Andrew Torre, President for Visa Sub-Saharan Africa said, “We are glad to partner with Ecobank to bring mVisa into the market, a mobile payment solution with real benefits to drive digital transformation backed by advantages of Visa’s global network – security, reliability and global acceptance, allowing consumers to make payments both domestically and internationally.”
Patrick Akinwuntan, Ecobank Group Executive Consumer Banking, pointed out that the Ecobank mVisa solutions rollout significantly strengthens the banks person-to person payments capabilities. “Bringing this added functionality on our Ecobank mobile app connects families in Africa by delivering needed funds instantly anywhere, anytime. That’s real value to our customers,” he said.
Credit: PM News
The National Communications Authority has given approval for the merger between Airtel (Bharti Ghana Limited) and Tigo (Millicom Ghana Limited) to proceed subject to some conditions.
According to an official statement from the NCA, the merger will result in an entity which will be the second largest mobile network operator in the country.
The statement says, the merger, which was first announced in March this year, required the NCA to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the application and the regulatory ecosystem. To ensure efficient and equitable distribution and access to the spectrum, the merged entities will have to submit a network integration plan to the Authority which will indicate how they intend to relinquish portions of their total spectrum allocation. This, however, will be done in phases on geographical area basis and over a period not exceeding eighteen (18) months to avoid disruptions on the network.
On the issue of numbers, the merged entity shall retain all the numbering resources held by the merging entities. The NCA has also requested the merged entity to submit a plan to educate customers about changes and related measures within 30 days from date of merger.
The merger approval is also conditioned with an option for Government participation. Based on agreements which have been accepted by the merging entities and the payment of relevant fees, a supplementary agreement to the licenses of the merging entities will be signed between the NCA and the merging entities; the day of the signing of the agreement will be the effective date of the merger.
The merged entity will have a 3G License valid until 25th January, 2024 while their 2G License will be valid until 30th October, 2021.
The NCA wishes to assure all stakeholders, especially consumers, that their various interests will be protected and that the Authority will endeavor to maintain stability within the industry.
The Federal Government has granted a 3-year tax relief to the newly inaugurated Pay TV operator in the country, TStv Africa, as well as tax free dividends to all investors in the company.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, announced this in Abuja at a dinner to mark the official unveiling of the new company. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports TStv Africa is a wholly owned Nigerian Pay TV operator with refined offerings of novel Unclassified Pay Per View subscription and complimentary internet services.
Mohammed, who performed the official unveiling of the new company and its products, said the tax reliefs were in line with the Pioneer Status recently granted to the Creative Industry by the federal government.
The minister congratulated the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company, Dr Bright Echefu, and his team for liberalising and breaking the monopoly of Pay TV in the country. “The important thing about what Echefu has done today is that he has redefined the pay per view television industry and from today that industry will never remain the same again.
“What he has done is to democratise the media and entertainment industry and make it possible for even a peasant farmer to have access to the best entertainment and news in the world. “It is a great opportunity for me to be the one to unveil TStv because just like a Nigerian made history by crashing the cost of telephony in Nigeria, I am glad that another Nigerian is now coming forward to crash the cost of Pay TV,” he said.
The minister commended the courage of the investor for coming from the Diaspora to invest in his country and for believing in the government’s seriousness about diversifying the economy. He said the company had also demonstrated that government alone could not do all things but needed the participation and synergy of the private sector.
“I want to assure that this administration will continue to assist you and other investors in creating the enabling environment for businesses to grow,” he said.
The minister said that the government was aware of the huge contributions of the creative industry to the nation’s economy and would continue to support the sector. However, he identified contents and the lack of objective audience measurement as major challenges that had retarded the growth of TV and advertising industries in the country.
“With the liberalisation of the industry, content has become very key because content determines which channels are being watched and which are not. “Another major challenge is how to get an accurate measurement of which channel is being watched and which is not. “Kenya and South Africa are about one third of our population but they do much better in TV and radio advertisement than us because of their robust audience measurement,” he said.
The minister announced that the National Broadcasting Commission and his ministry would organise a workshop on Nov. 28 to address the challenge of audience measurement. Earlier, Echefu said that TStv Africa, which had gone through a lot of challenges, was birth to liberalise PayTV in the country, make it affordable to every Nigerian with added values. He said for the first time, Nigerians could now enjoy Pay Per View because with TStv, “subscription runs as you watch and it has the facility to pause your subscription when you travel”.
Echefu said that TStv for a start has 70 premium channels model with the cheapest pay-TV in Africa with maximum subscription fee of N3,000 only. He said as a fully Nigerian brand with consideration for the masses, TStv is not classified and it has a model that accommodate subscription as low as N200 as N500 for a period of time.
The CEO said TStv came with PVR (Personal Video Recorder) Decoder which allowed viewers greater control over their viewing experience with functions like pause, rewind, forward, save and record of programmes of interest. Echefu said that once you subscribe to TStv, you will also get complimentary internet service, enabled Wi-Fi, as well as video calls and video conferencing services.
“It has an array of amazing TV channels with premium entertainment, educative programmes that cut across all genres. “The genres included news, music, general entertainment, documentary, movies, religious, sports, health, kids, fashion and lifestyle that better define the uniqueness of Nigeria’s diverse culture and traditional values,” he said.
The CEO said TStv which was modelled for Nigerians had come to stay, assuring that it would not fail and they would deliver on their promises. NAN reports that the guests at the ceremony were entertained with live performances by musicians and comedians. Among the dignitaries at the event were Gov. Akinwumi Ambode of Lagos represented by the Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Information and Strategy, Mr Fola Adeyemi, and the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, MS Grace Gekpe.
Others were the Director-General of National Orientation Agency, Dr Garba Abari; former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode; Nollywood actors including Emeka Ike. Adigwe Okafor, Zack Amata, Dr Opa Williams and Afeez Oyetoro aka Saka.