First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Nigeria’s premier and leading financial inclusion services organisation has announced its partnership with Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System plc (NIBSS) on its recently launched Nigeria Quick Response (NQR) Payment Solution.
The NQR is an innovative payment option implemented for all financial service providers and designed to promote quick and fast transactions by scanning the code on one’s mobile device. Also, the initiative reduces cost(s) for merchants and banks in delivering instant value for person to business (P2B) and person to person (P2P) transactions by simply scanning to pay. Unlike other QR schemes, the NQR is implemented with reduced charges that is cheaper for merchants.
The initiative is accessible on the Bank’s payment infrastructure as the NQR code can be used to make payments through one’s FirstMobile App. And it is also available for the merchant in facilitating their business activities. The touchpoint and use cases of the NQR payment solution include convenience stores, supermarkets, shopping malls, pharmacy, ride-hailing/taxi payments, bus fares, tolling booths payments, vending machines, e-commerce sites, online (Instagram) businesses amongst many others.
To access the service, launch your FirstMobile App and select QR payment. Afterwards, choose NIBSS as a payment provider, then scan the seller’s NQR barcode. Thereafter, the amount is inputted, followed by PIN validation to generate an instant confirmation of the transaction successfully. On the other hand, merchants are to visit any FirstBank branch closest to them for service enrolment.
Speaking on the initiative Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, CEO, FirstBank said “we are delighted with the adoption of the Nigeria Quick Response (NQR) payment solution, an initiative by Nigeria Interbank Settlement System Plc (NIBSS) which has been instrumental to easing and promoting payment convenience with the use of mobile phones. At FirstBank, we recognize the indelible role technology plays in promoting businesses across diverse frontiers and we remain committed to reinventing our technology infrastructure to meet global standards whilst being committed to staying true to our mantra in always putting You, our customers First
Fitch Upgrades Fidelity Bank’s Issuer Default Rating from ‘B-’ to ‘B’
Fitch Ratings has upgraded Fidelity Bank Plc’s long-term issuer default rating (IDR) from ‘B-’ to ‘B’, reflecting the bank’s increased creditworthiness. The rating agency also upgraded Fidelity’s National Long-Term Rating to ‘A(nga)’ from ‘BBB+(nga)’.
According to the global rating agency, the upgrade is a result of the Bank’s improving business profile and resilient financial metrics. The agency added that the improved rating reflected the bank’s increased creditworthiness relative to other issuers in Nigeria, emphasizing that, “Fidelity’s Long- and Short-Term IDRs are driven by its standalone creditworthiness, as expressed by its Viability Rating (VR) of ‘b’ ’’.
The agency further stated that the VR reflects healthy asset quality, good business profile and reasonable capitalisation and liquidity. These are balanced against high sensitivity to Nigeria’s challenging operating environment as well as higher credit concentration as a percentage of equity and weaker profitability than larger domestic-rated peers.
Commenting on the upgraded rating, Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe, Managing Director/CEO, Fidelity Bank Plc, stated, “Receiving this upgrade at a time when the global economy is faced with a myriad of challenges, speaks to the strength of our business model, the efficacy of our risk management culture and the commitment of our staff towards creating sustainable value for all stakeholders. As a bank, we will continue to execute our growth strategy in a prudent manner that allows us to take advantage of emerging opportunities in our various markets”.
Fidelity Bank is a full-fledged commercial bank operating in Nigeria with over 6.5 million customers serviced across its 250 business offices and digital banking channels. The bank was recently recognized as the Best SME Bank Nigeria 2022 by the Global Banking & Finance Awards. The bank has also won awards for the “Fastest Growing Bank” and “MSME & Entrepreneurship Financing Bank of the Year” at the 2021 BusinessDay Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BAFI) Awards.
Unity Bank Corpreneurship Challenge: Delta, Rivers Corps Members to Benefit from N10m Business Grant
Unity Bank’s flagship Entrepreneurial Development Initiative, Corpreneurship Challenge, is set to return for the 8th edition across 10 locations in Nigeria, including a debut in Delta and Rivers States.
The Retail lender kick-started the Corpreneurship Challenge scheme in 2019, with a launch in Lagos and in three other states, which included Edo, Ogun, and Abuja, but with the increasing traction of the initiative among corps entrepreneurs, the Bank has now expanded the programme to 10 states across the federation.
The first expanded edition covered Lagos, Ogun, Abuja, Edo, Katsina, Enugu, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom, Sokoto, Kano and Kaduna. This edition will hold for the first time in Rivers and Delta as well as making a return to Sokoto, Edo, Abuja, Akwa-Ibom, Osun, Kano, Bayelsa and Enugu.
The Corpreneurship Challenge, which has earned the Bank a national recognition for its impact on youth empowerment and job creation, has continued to elicit growing interest among the corps members, attracting over 2000 applicants and participation in every edition.
In partnership with the NYSC Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (SAED), the initiative prominently features a business pitch presentation that provides the participants with the opportunity to present their business plans and stand a chance to win up to N500, 000 cash in the business grant.
Previous editions saw participants pitching business plans from several sectors including software solutions, fashion, fish production, poultry farming, bee farming, retail chains, and piggery to beverages which were assessed based on originality, marketability, and future employability potential of the product and knowledge of the business.
So far, Unity Bank has invested over N100 million in the initiative which has now produced 58 winners since it was launched.
IPMAN Warns Members Against Selling PMS Above N165/Litre
The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria on Wednesday warned members of the association not to dispense Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol, above the approved N165/litre pump price.
IPMAN in conjunction with the Association of Distributors and Transporters of Petroleum Products gave the warning in Abuja following reports that many retail outlets had adjusted the price in their various pumps upwards above the government-regulated rate.
The factional National President, IPMAN, Chinedu Okoronkwo, admitted that members of the association had called for a hike in petrol price, but noted that the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited had released enough petrol.
He said, “Our members in Lagos were getting the fuel at N170 – N173/litre, that’s why they wanted price increased. It is only the NNPC that is importing the product. The cost of doing business has changed, so it becomes difficult to sell at N165/litre.
“That is why we are thanking the NNPC for bringing the product to N143/litre. So, our members must sell the product at N165 which is the government-approved price.”
Okoronkwo further revealed that IPMAN and its partner had engaged the services of Benham Group to recover money owed them for the supply of petroleum products.
“Our business requires technology, that is why we brought a seasoned financial expert and we’ve been able to recover a lot of funds in other countries and Nigeria,” he said.
The IPMAN official added, “The incessant mishaps and destruction of trucks on the road, banditry and kidnapping is the reason we are bringing the insurance company to help us. Leaving the risk for the owner of the truck to bear will affect our businesses.”
On his part, the National President, Association of Distributors and Transporters of Petroleum Products in Nigeria, Mohammed Danzaki, said the NNPC had done a lot to import the product, “but the main issue is the transportation.”
He added, “We have not been getting our payments. That is why we engaged a financial expert, Benham Group, to recoup our money for Nigerians to get regular supplies in the fuel stations.”
The Chairman, Benham Group, Maurice Ibe, said the collaboration was to ensure stabilisation of fuel supply at the filling stations.