Tag Archives: Banks
Banks: Latest News
Dana Sanchez, 3:29 pm
Johannesburg-based Standard Bank is the latest to join the R3 consortium after some global heavyweights pulled out. The network represents a collaboration of 75-plus banks exploring blockchain as a solution for digital payments. Goldman Sachs, Santander, Morgan Stanley and the National Australian Bank have quit the NYC-based R3. Their departure raises questions about how much distributed ledger and blockchain technology are worth to the financial sector. One expert says they could have quit over competition and not wanting to share.
Kurt Davis Jr., 7:57 am AFKI Original
In cities from Victoria Island in Lagos, Nigeria to Maputo, Mozambique, gym memberships can be above $100 per month. Africans are paying higher fees than in more mature markets. Zumba classes are abundant, yoga is everywhere, and biking and running are an ever-growing trend in Africa. Putting cash into the facilities for these types of activities is lucrative. Scalability is still a concern but branding across borders and within regions is necessary for growth.
Dana Sanchez, 1:36 pm
In future, insurers, asset managers and banks are likely to benefit from the innovation revolution taking place in financial technology, which is creating new means of distribution. Partnerships will be key in reaching new customers, especially in parts of Africa where insurance premiums are being built into mobile subscriptions. “For insurers, the need to drive the distribution model and mobile platforms can fundamentally help,” an EY leader says.
Dana Sanchez, 11:17 am
Hyperinflation in 2008 had Zimbabweans paying 50 billion Zimbabwean dollars for an egg and 100 trillion dollars for a weekly bus ticket. The U.S. dollar has been Zimbabwe’s main currency since 2009 but those are in short supply. Now it’s deja vu all over again as the Zimbabwe government forces bond notes into circulation, a move many feel is a ploy to bring back the Zimbabwean dollar. The central bank promised to keep a lid on issuing bond notes, insisting they are not an official currency and will have no value outside of Zimbabwe. The first test will be in the informal foreign exchange markets on the streets.
Dana Sanchez, 2:22 pm
In June 2016, Angolan President José Eduardo dos Santos controversially appointed his billionaire daughter Isabel head of the state-owned oil company Sonangol. The collapse of oil prices is nothing new, but the nature of Angolan politics and the stranglehold of the dos Santos family are threatening economic collapse. Under Isabel’s watch, Sonangol can’t afford to pay for toilet paper, never mind repay $1.135 billion in debt. Soon after Isabel became CEO of Sonangol, Angola pulled out of discussions with the IMF for a $4.5 billion loan. Isabel’s banking monopoly is the reason, an analyst said. The richest woman in Africa, Isabel owns stakes in five of the largest Angolan banks.
Staff, 12:01 am
One of the world’s largest banks, HSBC is now allowing customers to open accounts by taking a photo of themselves with their mobile phone, then log into their accounts using facial recognition technology. The selfie will be matched with a photo from a passport or drivers license. Some major South African banks talked about the technology, and how close it may be to local adoption, in a Business Tech report. “The idea does not seem a stretch once photo recognition is part of our everyday operations,” Nedbank said.
Dana Sanchez, 3:55 pm
Barclays Africa and an Israeli fintech startup recently completed the first global trade transaction using blockchain technology. They want other banks to adopt the process, which they say saves time and money. Banks are rushing to adopt blockchain, but unprecedented transparency sits uneasily. They have to make drastic changes to force the radical technology to fit the norms of the banking world. Barclays Africa has sought to be a leader. “Research and development happening in this space … is a collective collaboration,” Barclays told AFKInsider.
Staff, 10:17 pm
Nigeria continues to play a stabilizing role in African peace and economies, said Liberian Vice President Joseph Boakai. Nigeria was the first African country to come to Liberia’s aid in restoring peace after the Liberian civil war. Nigeria also showed love for Liberia during the Ebola outbreak which ravaged the country in 2015. In addition to most banks and insurance firms being owned by Nigerians, Liberia is home to many Nigerian educators and medical doctors.
Staff, 12:02 am
In 2015, remittances from the Zimbabwean diaspora were US$935 million — more than the country gets through foreign direct investment. Diaspora remittances could reach US$1.5 billion by the end of 2016. The government is exploring issuing diaspora bonds to entice the diaspora community to inject more money into the economy. About 2 million Zimbabweans live abroad, mostly in South Africa and U.K.
Dana Sanchez, 6:08 pm
Many people believe blockchain technology has the potential to change financial services as profoundly as the Internet changed media and entertainment. Financial services are a hotbed of disruptive technology. Banks across the world are are eager to embrace these to stay competitive and relevant. Barclays Africa Group has been experimenting with blockchain for some time and now it’s joining the R3 consortium of 50 banks and financial institutions to design and deliver distributed ledger technology to global financial markets.
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