Standard Bank enabled UnionPay contactless payments across South Africa

JOHANNESBURG, Nov. 9, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Standard Bank South Africa (SBSA) and UnionPay International (UPI) jointly announced that Standard Bank point-of-sale devices have been enabled for UnionPay contactless payment.

The cooperation is a strategic move from UPI that follows the surging trend of the global contactless payment industry and accelerates the development of international mobile payment services.

According to a survey conducted by RTI[1], around 30% of the respondents have started to use contactless payments since the pandemic began. And 70% of those users are likely to continue using contactless payments post-COVID-19. Contactless payments have emerged as an essential solution for all the businesses as it enables them to drive their business forward along with ensuring safety to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

“At Standard Bank, we continue to be at the forefront of providing our clients with a variety of innovative digital and contactless payment solutions,” says Nelisa Zulu, Head of Card and Payments at Standard Bank South Africa.

“We have seen contactless payment spend grow by 272% year-on-year, as we see our clients’ preferences shift towards digital alternatives for payment, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Through our relationships with UnionPay, we continue to offer easy and convenient payment solutions for our clients, including simply tapping their cards,” comments Zulu.

“We are grateful to further extend our cooperation with Standard Bank”, said Luping Zhang, General Manager at UnionPay International Africa. “We encourage UnionPay cardholders to use contactless payments to minimise the impact of the pandemic on their daily life”.

Standard Bank is the largest banking group on the African continent by assets offering universal financial services across sub-Saharan Africa. With a deep understanding of emerging markets and evolving consumer demands, Standard Bank is working to support and grow the number of transactions through partnerships.

At present, UnionPay cards are widely accepted in South Africa in all sectors, effectively meeting the diverse purchasing needs of UnionPay cardholders living and visiting South Africa. UnionPay’s acceptance network has expanded to 180 countries and regions in recent years, with cards issued in 70 countries and regions, including over 10 African countries. The Nilson Report (Issue 1154) shows that UnionPay ranks first among all card schemes in terms of cards issuance and transaction volume worldwide.  UnionPay has launched various innovative payment products in Africa in response to the worldwide digital transformation and financial inclusion.

OANDA partners with CONVRS to revolutionise account opening process

LONDON, Nov. 9, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — A global leader in online multi-asset trading services, currency data and analytics, OANDA has partnered with personalised customer engagement platform, CONVRS to enhance the account opening process and better engage with clients.

Under the partnership, prospective traders in the emerging markets can now open a demo account direct from a wide range of messaging apps, making the process simpler than ever. The new integration also enables OANDA to converse with prospects and clients through Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, LINE, Telegram and SMS in 53 languages.

Kurt vom Scheidt, Chief Operating Officer with OANDA, remarked, “In today’s world, people are increasingly using instant messaging apps in every aspect of their daily lives. As such, we wanted to upgrade our onboarding protocols to better reflect this, extending our channels of communication to include the world’s most popular social media and mobile messaging apps, ushering our client engagement activities into the 21st century in the process.”

“Combining deep-seated expertise in the retail trading industry with a comprehensive plug-and-play solution, CONVRS was a natural choice. It’s exciting for OANDA to be able to increase engagement with our clients in a way that’s easiest for them by using their choice of tools and methods rather than those that might otherwise be imposed upon them. We look forward to introducing our new messaging capabilities to other jurisdictions around the world in the coming months,” he continued.

Further commenting, Enis Mehmet, Cofounder at CONVRS, said, “A FinTech firm at heart, OANDA has earned a reputation for using cutting-edge technology to connect with their clients’ ever-changing needs. Given the 85% open rate for messaging apps, OANDA is now meeting its clients where they are. Being able to support them in a variety of available channels, we look forward to working with how they engage clients in the other stages of the customer journey.”

About OANDA

Founded in 1996, OANDA was the first company to share exchange rate data free of charge on the Internet, launching an FX trading platform that helped pioneer the development of web-based currency trading five years later. Today, the group provides online multi-asset trading, currency data and analytics to retail and corporate clients, demonstrating an unrivalled expertise in foreign exchange. With regulated entities in nine of the world’s most active financial markets, OANDA remains dedicated to transforming the business of foreign exchange. For more information, please visit oanda.com or follow us on Twitter, Facebook or YouTube.

About CONVRS

CONVRS (conv.rs) was established in 2018 and is presently used by over 25 financial intermediaries including leading FX/CFD brokers and digital banking solutions. The technology integrates messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Telegram, Messenger, LINE together with SMS and website chat in an API-driven omnichannel platform, streamlining the company and customer conversations. Founded by two financial markets industry veterans, CONVRS is now the leading partner for financial intermediaries looking to engage their clients in conversational experiences, from opening demo accounts, chatting with business agents or receiving personalised curated content.

Logo – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/1581985/OANDA_colour_logo_Logo.jpg

Ghana in a hopeless state under Akufo-Addo’s cooked economic figures – Mahama

Former President John Mahama has said Ghana is in a state of despair, following the failure on the part of the Akufo-Addo government to fulfill promises made to Ghanaians.

Speaking in an interview on TV XYZ, Mr. Mahama stated that he discovered the hopelessness after touring the country to thank Ghanaians for their votes in the 2020 election.

“We’re in a state of despair; people are sad, people have regretted because this is not what the government promised them,” he told Tonton Sansan host Prince Minkah.

“Before the elections, they did a lot of things, i.e., free water, free light, free this and they spent GHS11.9 billion of the COVID funds from March to December and a lot went into convincing people…They gave small business loans via MoMo of about GHS2,000 but today, we are all paying that back,” he stated.

Mahama’s interview on November 9, 2021, was to speak to Ghanaians ahead of his last ‘thank you’ tour which is scheduled to be in the Greater Accra region on Tuesday, 9 November 2021.

Expressing his disappointment in the Akufo-Addo government, Mr Mahama said the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the lies of the government, blaming Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta for “cooking” figures to make the country’s economy look good regardless of the hardships Ghanaians are grappling with.

“They said the economy was resilient and the Vice-President said if there was any external shock, for six months, Ghana will not need any external intervention. But within two weeks of COVID, we went to the IMF for money. What happened to that resilient economy?” he quizzed.

“The economy had no buffers and, so, within two weeks of a COVID situation, [there was a] lockdown; we were begging the IMF for money…, so, it shows there’s a certain culture of lying about things and all that to deceive Ghanaians and we can see that it has all unravelled and the truth is here for all to see,” he added.

“Very soon, the Finance minister will be presenting the budget and you’ll realise the economy is in tatters,” the 2020 flagbearer of the NDC noted.

 

Source: Modern Ghana

Ignore fabrication sponsored by desperadoes, I’ve not discussed my future political ambitions with anyone – Ade Coker

The Greater Accra Regional Chairman of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Kobina Ade Coker, has rejected reports that he is nursing ambitions to seek re-election.

Mr. Ade Coker in a statement stressed that he has not discussed his ambitions with anyone “talk less of having it published in the media.”

“This four-year mandate has not expired. Even though I lead a team of Regional, Constituency and Branch Executives to win 20 out of the 34 seats in the region and over 1.3 million presidential votes, my dream was to provide a leadership that would return the NDC and H.E. John Mahama to power in 2020.

“This did not materialize, as what happened in the last election was witnessed by all. The Party leadership, after the election, have been preoccupied with our reorganization agenda towards recapturing power in 2024,” he added.

He said he will be the last person to declare his intentions for reelection or otherwise “when branch and constituency elections have not been conducted.”

“I have always respected the structures of the Party and have equally stood against persons campaigning for positions instead of helping to strengthen the party at the base first. I urge all party members and supporters to disregard the publication and treat it as a fabrication sponsored by desperadoes to drag me into their anti-Party conduct.”

The NDC Regional Chairman indicated that he will make known his next move after he has achieved his objective of ‘reorganising’ the party.

“At this crucial moment in the life of our Party, every true Party member must be preoccupied with the reorganization agenda and not planting tales in the media.”

“My decision to contest or otherwise should not be the ground on which others would bank their hopes for success or failure. I am a friend of the media and have remained as such. I will always advocate for press freedom. What I will however not countenance is unethical journalism aimed at fulfilling a hatchet job,” he added.

Read the full statement below;

I have become aware of a spurious publication by sharpnewsgh.com that I have confided in close associates of my intention not to seek reelection as Regional Chairman of Greater Accra NDC.

I want to put on record that I have not discussed my ambitions with anybody talk less of having it publish in the media.

Greater Accra NDC delegates gave me a four year mandate at the last Regional Conference to provide sterling leadership that would win majority votes and seats in the region in the 2020 Election.

This four-year mandate has not expired even though I lead a team of Regional, Constituency and Branch Executives to win 20 out of the 34 seats in the region and over 1.3 million presidential votes.

My dream was to provide a leadership that would return the NDC and H.E. John Mahama to power in 2020.

This did not materialize as what happened in the last election was witnessed by all. The Party leadership, after the election, have been preoccupied with our reorganization agenda towards recapturing power in 2024.

As a Regional Chairman interested in building a formidable Party, I would be the last person to declare my intention for either reelection or otherwise when branch and Constituency Elections have not been conducted.

I have always respected the structures of the Party and have equally stood against persons campaigning for positions instead of helping to strengthen the Party at the base first.

I urge all Party members and supporters to disregard the publication and treat it as a fabrication sponsored by desperados to drag me into their anti-Party conduct.

I can assure those eager to know my next move in politics that I will surely make it known after I have assisted in reorganizing the Party.

My decision to contest or otherwise should not be the ground on which others would bank their hopes for success or failure.

I am a friend of the media and have remained as such. I will always advocate for press freedom. What I will however not countenance is unethical journalism aimed at fulfilling a hatchet job.

At this crucial moment in the life of our Party, every true Party member must be preoccupied with the reorganization agenda and not planting tales in the media.

 

Source: Modern Ghana

Madina too big for ‘small boy’ Xavier Sosu – Chairman Dollar

The reality of being a Member of Parliament for a big constituency like Madina has now dawned on a “small boy” like Mr Francis-Xavier Sosu, whom he said was why he (Sosu) recently led his constituents to block some roads in the area during a demonstration about the terrible nature of the roads in his constituency, the governing New Patriotic Party’s Madina Constituency Chairman, Mr Eric Nartey Yeboah, has said.

In his view, Mr Sosu had always thought being an MP for Madina was a doodle, thus, his entry into the fray to wrest the seat from a political “colossus” like Alhaji Abubakar Saddique Boniface, the former Minister of Inner-City and Zongo Development in the last parliamentary election.

“We rebranded Madina as a place of business and a place of choice under Alhaji Boniface”, Mr Nartey Yeboah, who is also known as Chairman Dollar told Kwame Appiah Kubi on Accra100.5FM’s morning show Ghana Yensom on Tuesday, 9 November 2021.

He said: “It is only a ‘small boy’ MP like Sosu who would lead his constituents to demonstrate over roads when he is supposed to be lobbying his colleague ministers who are members of the legislature to bring development to his people.”

It was under the watch of Alhaji Boniface as MP that the value of properties in the area quadrupled, stemming from the systemic developments in the constituency, he argued.

He explained that some twelves ago, Madina was not the toast of many people in the region, “but what are we seeing today?”

Mr Nartey Yeboah asked Mr Sosu, who is being sought after by the police administration for causing destruction to state property: “Have you seen the likes of Haruna Iddrisu, the NDC MP for Tamale South Constituency in the Northern Region; and Mr Sam George Nartey, MP for Ningo-Prampram Constituency in the Greater Accra Region, leading their constituents to demonstrate over bad roads leading to the destruction of state properties?

“They don’t engage in these small-boy political antics because they have the tenacity to lobby for the good of their people”, he said.

According to him, Mr Sosu’s participation in the demonstration was a clear indication that he is in a state of despair after having hoodwinked the constituents into voting for him.

To him, the MP’s is being haunted by some of the promises he made to the people in the lead-up to the 2020 elections.

“Madina has myriad problems and fixing them needs tenacity, not populism”, Chairman Dollar noted.

 

Source: Modern Ghana

NDC internal elections must be free and fair – N/R Chairman hopeful

A Northern Regional Chairman hopeful of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) is calling for free, fair and transparent elections at the branch, constituency and regional levels.

As a former Regional Organizer, Godfred Wumbei Apasinaba alias Yellowman in a statement decried what appeared to be vote-buying that characterized the last local elections and said it should not be repeated.

According to him, the incidence of vote-buying in the NDC’s internal contests caused a lot of damage to the party in the region at the 2020 polls.

He insisted that the upcoming local elections at all levels should be devoid of any machinations, to build a united NDC for a resounding victory in 2024.

Below is the full text:

Towards Stronger Branches in 2024

As NDC prepares itself for the task in 2024 we must take keen interest in strengthening the party at all levels and more importantly at the branches. The efficiency of every political party is anchored in the vibrancy of its grassroots, and it behoves us as members of our beloved party to

remind ourselves as we move towards our branch elections and reorganization.

For me and other concerned members who feel obliged to give everything we can give to have a strong base, I find it necessary to remind our members in the Northern Region that the party has a lot of work to do in our region and starting with a functioning branch system is the first step to victory in 2024.

However, we cannot have a functioning branch system if issues of interferences and manoeuvring continue to undermine our branch elections and reorganization processes. In the run-up to the last elections, there were widespread complaints and allegations about immense interference in branch elections. Such allegations, true or otherwise, did quite a lot of damage to the party’s electoral fortunes across several constituencies in the region.

Going forward, I would like to offer my two cents to us all. We cannot have the vibrancy we will need to win and most constituencies in 2024. We must discourage all forms of interference in our branch elections. The system must be allowed to elect hard-working and deserving branch executives to make our victory a reality. It’s not helpful if people with their personal and parochial interests manoeuvre to have their preferred candidates become branch executives, irrespective of whether they can do the job or not.

I, therefore, call on all NDC faithful in the northern region to be crusaders of free and fair branch elections to give us the needed efficiency to win the next elections. If the sad story of the region in the last two elections must change, it should start from the branches and eschewing all forms of interferences and manoeuvring is the best way to go.

Northern Region has a big contribution to make towards NDC’s victory in the 2024 elections and for that matter need to revisit our strategy to build stronger branches.

 

Source: Modern Ghana

Government sponsored only 24 delegates to COP26 not 337 – EPA boss Kokofu

The Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Henry Kokofu says the government delegation that attended Glasgow is made up of 24 persons, and not over 300 as reported in sections of the media.

There have been many claims that government sent over 300 people to take part in the World Leaders’ Summit of the United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference (COP 26), held from 31st October to 12th November 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland.

These claims have come with the government receiving backlash that the high numbers were unnecessary and inconsistent with the level of climate and environmental work done in the country.

Others also said the numbers were a huge drain on the country’s coffers.

But Mr. Kokofu said far less than 300 people actually attended the conference and most of them were privately sponsored.

“The over 300 figure is wrong. By the beginning of the program on 1st November, those who had registered and had their accreditation given to them were 107 as Ghanaians and not necessary government officials. We had people in academia, journalists, lawyers, doctors and civil society organizations. The actual Ghanaian delegation that went and was speaking in the name of Ghana was 24. We are very surprised that they will be spreading this 330 figure. We are negotiating on climate finance, and we need the Finance Ministry and Bank of Ghana officials to be there. We are negotiating on climate-smart agriculture and so the ministry of agriculture must be there. The various ministries must be there,” he said.

Henry Kokofu added that the cost involved in attending the conference had been budgeted for.

“All these entities have their budgets approved by parliament and has been appropriated. It is not an extra cost to the government, and it is within their budget allocation. Indeed, Zoomlion had the cause to sponsor EPA so that we can sponsor some journalists,” he stated.

 

Source: Modern Ghana

NDC local elections must be free, fair and transparent — Yellowman

A Northern Regional Chair hopeful of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) calls for free, fair and transparent elections at the branch, constituency and regional levels.

As a former Regional Organizer, Godfred Wumbei Apasinaba alias Yellowman in a statement decried the vote buying that characterized the last local elections saying it should not be repeated.

According to him, the incidence of votes buying in the NDC’s internal contests caused a lot of damage to the party in the region at the 2020 polls.

He insists that the upcoming local elections at all levels should be devoid of any machinations, to build a united NDC for a resounding victory in 2024.

Below is the full text:

Towards Stronger Branches in 2024

As NDC prepares itself for the task in 2024 we must take keen interest in strengthening the party at all levels and more importantly at the branches. The efficiency of every political party is anchored in the vibrancy of its grassroots, and it behoves us as members of our beloved party to remind ourselves as we move towards our branch elections and reorganization.

For me and other concerned members who feel obliged to give everything we can give to have a strong base, I find it necessary to remind our members in northern region that the party has a lot of work to do in our region and starting with a functioning branch system is the first step to victory in 2024.

However, we cannot have a functioning branch system if issues of interferences and maneuvering continue to undermine our branch elections and reorganization processes. In the run up to the last elections, there were widespread complaints and allegations about immense interference in branch elections. Such allegations, true or otherwise, did quite a lot of damage to the party’s electoral fortunes across several constituencies in the region.

Going forward, I would like to offer my two cents to us all. We cannot have the vibrancy we will need to win and most constituencies in 2024. We must discourage all forms of interferences in our branch elections. The system must be allowed to elect hardworking and deserving branch executives to make our victory a reality. It’s not helpful if people with their personal and parochial interests maneuver to have their preferred candidates become branch executives, irrespective of whether they can do the job or not.

I therefore call on all NDC faithful in the northern region to be crusaders of free and fair branch elections to give us the needed efficiency to win the next elections. If the sad story of the region in the last two elections must change, it should start from the branches and eschewing all forms of interferences and maneuvering is the best way to go.

Northern region has a big contribution to make towards NDC’s victory in the 2024 elections and for that matter need to revisit our strategy to build stronger branches.

 

Source: Modern Ghana