Global remittances are being witnessed to be the most probable largest channel of external finance in developing countries. Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs), remittances play a vital role in apprehending poverty which might affect the socio-economic being of a country.
So it is safe to say remittances are a major driver of long-run growth and development. It is necessary to build productive capacities, transform the structure of economies, generate employment and reduce poverty.
In recent times, African countries have had relatively good economic growth performance. However, average investment rates on the continent remain low relative to what is considered necessary to achieve national development goals.
They are also low relative to the average rate for developing countries. These facts suggest that Africa’s recent growth may be fragile and that it is unlikely to be sustained in the medium to long term if current trends continue. The key question, then, is how can Africa catalyse investment for sustained and transformative growth.
One of the quick wins and shock absorbers to this challenge for decades now are remittances from Nigerians living abroad have significantly increased domestic income, social welfare and economic development. The economic benefits of remittance inflows have similarly proven to be instrumental in funding cash and non-cash investments thereby fostering new businesses, servicing debts and essentially, drive economic growth.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and banks work closely to broaden the scope and scale of diaspora inflows through formal remittance channels dominated by International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOs). The United Bank for Africa (UBA) has through its operation in 20 African countries and partnership with IMTOs supported Nigeria’s foreign capital inflows and CBN’s policies on exchange rate stability, reserve accretion, job creation, poverty reduction and economic growth.
Without a doubt, diaspora remittances continue to remain major sources of stable external financing for Nigeria and developing countries. Countries have continued to harness these benefits despite the global fall in remittance flows in the last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
To keep the dollar flows coming, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and commercial banks work closely to constantly improve Nigeria’s remittance infrastructure, ease the process of international money transfer and simplify the experience for senders and recipients.
For these stakeholders, the efficiency of remittance services, especially as provided through commercial banks’ and International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOs’) partnerships are critical to boosting dollar liquidity in the economy.
The PwC forecasts suggest that Nigeria’s remittance flows could reach US$34.89 billion by 2023, hence the need for the apex bank and commercial banks to continually work closely to ensure that more funds flow into the economy.
In this regard, the CBN had urged banks to develop products and investments vehicles, geared towards attracting funds from Nigerians in the diaspora.
Such channels for sending and receiving funds from the diaspora are expected to be seamless and convenient to their customers.
In compliance with this directive, the United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, with operations in 20 African countries, has used its wide network to boost foreign capital flows to the economy.
The UBA partnership with top IMTOs is ensuring convenience in sending and receiving money from anywhere in the world.
For instance, through the bank’s remittance partners, customers can receive money directly into their UBA account or pick up cash at any of its branches nationwide.
UBA has also created money transfer services that allow customers to deposit, transfer and withdraw cash in local currencies across 20 African countries.
The UBA, led by its Group Managing Director/CEO Kennedy Uzoka, is also implementing the ongoing ‘Naira for Dollar’ policy of the CBN which gives a N5 rebate for every $1 sent by Nigerians in the diaspora.
According to CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, the new measure would help to make the process of sending remittance through formal bank channels cheaper and more convenient for Nigerians in the diaspora.
In a circular to all authorised dealers and deposit money banks, the apex bank said the policy, which was to end on Saturday, May 8, will continue till further notice.
Forex Trading Associate, AZA, a global forex dealer, Oghenefejiro Eduviere, said the ’Naira for Dollar’ policy will continually support exchange rate stability and boost dollar flows to the economy.
Operational guidelines for IMTOs
International money transfer is a fast and secure electronic payment service that allows money transfer across African countries and beyond.
Although the operational guideline for each IMTO differs, the objective remains to provide seamless and affordable money transfer service to beneficiaries.
According to UBA, to send or receive money through IMTOs would require completing a form indicating the IMTO service, Bank Verification Number, savings or current UBA account, valid means of Identification for non-account holders (National I.D card, International Passport, Drivers licence or Nigerian Voters Card).
For receivers, a Personal Identification Number (PIN) code provided by the sender is required.
The bank says it remains one of the leading banks in terms of remittance services across Africa. “We are currently ranked number two in Money Gram, number three in Western Union and Ria money transfer services. In April, our cumulative transaction count was 33,000 and the amount remitted through UBA was about 14.03 million,” it said.
The bank says it remains committed to providing ease and convenience for money transfers across the world.
UBA’s partnership with MoneyGram, Western Union, Ria Money Transfer, World Remit, Flutter Wave, AFTAB (Ace Money Transfer), Cash Pot, Colony Capital (Fincode), Swift Payment, Naira Gram, IDTPS Boss Resolution, SmallWorld, Sendwave and Omnex has enabled it to serve more people in the remittance market.
Country Manager, Nigeria and Ghana, at WorldRemit, Gbenga Okejimi, said the company was excited by the fact that it can continue to enable the transfer of remittances to more people across Nigeria whilst also supporting the Nigerian government in its efforts to strengthen the economy.
WorldRemit founder Ismail Ahmed created WorldRemit to ensure that the diaspora community could send money back home easily and through a safe platform. The company said it is constantly evolving, innovating and adapting to ensure that our customers’ needs are met efficiently. It added that customers of UBA can access US Dollar pay-out through bank transfer and cash pick up options.
The World Remit does not require a minimum amount for transfer. However, the initial transaction is subject to a maximum of $2,000, while the maximum limit per transaction is $7,500, the total of which must not exceed$50,000 every six months. There are no charges to the beneficiaries.
For instance, with Africash account and non-account holders of UBA can send and receive money in local currency from all its branches across Africa.
“The customer just need to fill Africash form, provide Bank verification Number (BVN), open a savings/current account with the bank. For Verification holders, a valid means of Identification is required while the receiver should have the Personal Identification Number (PIN) code provided by the sender to collect funds,” the bank said in an emailed report.
Also, the UBA Connect gives its customers the option of sending or receiving money across 20 African countries with ease. This service is also available to account and non-account holders of the bank.
The bank explained that all the channels are safe, secure, provide competitive rates, easy and convenient.
Flutter Wave is safe, secure, and beneficiaries receive transfers within minutes and service available to UBA account and non-account holders. competitive rates and fees.
Africash services are available in cash collection and account transfers. “With the account transfer, the beneficiary needs not to worry about visiting any business location for payment as funds are instantly credited to the beneficiary’s account from the send point. Africash is available in US dollars and local currency, where regulations allow US dollar transfer and receivers are to indicate preferred currency”.
The Africash pricing reflects the market realities in each country of operation but, in all, prices remain competitive. On average, the price is one per cent or less. The transfer limits vary from one country to another. However, a $50,000 weekly transfer limit applies based on countries’ regulations.
Also, customers can open accounts with Instant Money Transfer International inflow and credit same into the account.
The UBA Nigeria Western Union Money Transfer is also a major remittance channel. The Western Union is an international money transfer service, which has been in service for over 149 years.
“It enables you to send and receive money worldwide. With a network in over 200 countries, Western Union controls 20 per cent of all remittance transactions. It is a fast and easy way to send or receive money in naira or dollars and is available at any UBA Branch,” the bank said.
The receiver of the fund through Western Union is expected to provide Money Transfer Control Number (MTCN), sender’s full name, receiver’s full name, answer to test question (if provided), location (Country) where money is being sent from as well as an amount to be received.
Also to be provided are valid, non-expired government-issued photo identity card which includes International Passport, Voter’s card, BVN, Nigerian Driver’s Licence.
In the Fast channel, a customer account is credited in approximately 48 hours, depending on the time of initiation of the transaction. Customers can calculate their fees, receive transfer notifications and track transactions online. The customers can also take advantage of loyalty schemes and such services as standing instructions.
The UBA Nigeria Western Union Money Transfer enables people to send and receive money worldwide. With a network in over 200 countries, Western Union controls 20 per cent of all remittance transactions. It is a fast and easy way to send or receive money in naira or dollars and is available at any UBA Branch.
Money Gram uses a high-performance, web-based application that makes it easy for customers to receive their money within a few minutes of their payment request.
“You can now send money to over 200 countries from any UBA branch to family and friends. The service has a maximum send limit of US $1,000 naira equivalent per customer every quarter and is available to account and non-account holders”.
“With Money Gram, money can be received directly into a UBA account or at a UBA branch with the reference code received from the sender. At the branch, the beneficiary will complete and submit the ‘receive form’. Once details have been verified, the beneficiary receives cash in their local currency”.
RIA Money Transfer is one of the largest international money transfer companies in the world. With a worldwide network in over 140 countries, RIA allows customers to receive the money within minutes directly into their UBA naira account or cash at a UBA Branch close to you from friends and family living abroad.
Bitcoin Rallies Towards $52K, Ethereum Consolidates, Altcoins In Uptrend
Bitcoin price gained bullish momentum above USD 50,000. Ethereum is consolidating below USD 4,000, XRP surged above the USD 1.30 resistance. QNT and FTM are up over 28%.
Bitcoin price remained well bid and it started a fresh increase above the USD 50,000 resistance. BTC gained nearly 4% and it even broke USD 51,500. It is currently (11:35 WAT) consolidating gains below the USD 52,000 resistance zone.
Besides, most major altcoins are also rising. ETH is holding gains, but it is facing resistance near the USD 4,000 zone. XRP is up over 6% and it broke the USD 1.30 resistance. ADA is still struggling to clear the USD 3.00 resistance zone.
After a successful close above USD 50,000, bitcoin price gained bullish momentum. BTC broke many hurdles near USD 51,000 and USD 51,200. It even traded close to USD 52,000 before the bears appeared. It is now consolidating gains below the USD 52,000 resistance. If there is an upside break above USD 52,000, the price could rise towards the USD 53,000 level.
On the downside, the price could find support near the USD 51,200 level. The main support is now forming near the USD 50,500 level.
Ethereum price made another attempt to clear the USD 4,000 resistance, but it failed. As a result, ETH corrected lower below USD 3,950.
However, the bulls were active near the USD 3,850 level. The price is now consolidating above USD 3,900, with many hurdles near USD 3,980 and USD 4,000.
If there is another downside correction, the price could find support near USD 3,850. The next major support is near the USD 3,800 level.
ADA, LTC, DOGE, and XRP price
Cardano (ADA) failed to stay above USD 3.00 and corrected lower. However, downsides were limited below USD 2.85. The price is now stuck in a range below the USD 3.00 resistance. A close above USD 3.00 could start a stronger increase.
Litecoin (LTC) broke many hurdles near USD 200 and USD 212. LTC even cleared USD 220 and it is now consolidating gains. An immediate resistance is near the USD 230 level. A clear break above USD 230 and USD 232 could open the doors for a move towards the USD 250 level.
Dogecoin (DOGE) is up over 4% and it broke the USD 0.312 resistance. The next major resistance is near the USD 0.320 level. Any more gains might lead the price towards the USD 0.335 level. If not, there might be a downside correction towards the USD 0.300 level.
XRP price gained pace above the USD 1.30 resistance. It is up over 6% and it even cleared the USD 1.32 resistance. There was a spike towards the USD 1.34 level, where the bulls faced resistance. XRP is now consolidating around USD 1.32, with support near USD 0.305 and USD 0.300.
Other altcoins market today
Many altcoins are up over 5%, including QNT, FTM, FIL, OMG, LINK, LUNA, QTUM, AMP, HT, ICP, ALGO, ATOM, CRO, EOS, and COMP. Out of these, QNT rallied over 41% and it surpassed the USD 335 level.
Overall, bitcoin price settled well above the USD 50,000 resistance zone. If BTC continues to rise and clears USD 52,000, there could be a move towards USD 53,000 or USD 53,500.
Bitcoin Above USD 50K, Ethereum Eyes USD 4K, SOL Extends Rally
Bitcoin price recovered losses and it climbed above USD 49,200. BTC is currently (11:46 UTC) trading above USD 50,000. A close above this level could push the price higher in the near term.
Besides, most major altcoins are trading in a positive zone. ETH regained strength and it broke the USD 3,900 level. XRP is consolidating near the USD 1.265 support. ADA could regain momentum if it settles above the USD 3.00 resistance.
Total market capitalization
After a short-term downside correction, bitcoin price started a fresh increase above USD 49,000. BTC surpassed USD 49,500 and USD 50,000. A successful close above USD 50,000 could start a fresh rally. The next major resistance is near USD 52,000. An intermediate resistance might be USD 51,200.
If there is a downside correction, the price might find support near USD 49,200. The next major support is now forming near the USD 48,500 level.
Ethereum price started a fresh rally above the USD 3,800 resistance. ETH is up almost 6% and it traded close to the USD 4,000 level. If there is a break above USD 4,000, the price might rise towards the USD 4,200 level.
If there is a downside correction, the price might find bids near the USD 3,900 level. The next major support is near the USD 3,850 level.
ADA, LTC, DOGE, and XRP price
Cardano (ADA) corrected lower below the USD 3.00 level. It even tested the USD 2.90 level and is consolidating in a range. If there is a fresh increase, the price could accelerate higher towards the USD 3.10 and USD 3.12 levels. The next major resistance is near the USD 3.20 level.
Litecoin (LTC) is gaining pace and it cleared the USD 188 resistance zone. The main hurdle is now near the USD 200 level. A close above USD 200 could start another increase. If there is a downside correction, the price might find support near USD 185. The next major support is now forming near the USD 180 level.
Dogecoin (DOGE) is struggling to clear the USD 0.300 resistance. If the bulls succeed, the price could rise towards the USD 0.312 level. The next major resistance is near the USD 0.320 level. On the downside, the price may possibly remain stable above the USD 0.280 level.
XRP price failed to clear USD 1.295 and USD 1.300. It corrected lower and it traded below USD 1.280. The price is now stuck near USD 1.265. The next major support is near USD 1.25, below which there is a risk of a major decline. Conversely, the price could visit the USD 1.30 resistance zone.
Other altcoins market today
Many altcoins gained over 5%, including SOL, REV, NEAR, CEL, AUDIO, MIOTA, AVAX, BTT, HOT, ALGO, ZIL, LINK, and ICX. Out of these, SOL rallied over 20% and it trades near USD 140.
To sum up, bitcoin price is now attempting an upside break above USD 50,000. If BTC succeeds, it could rise further towards the USD 52,000 level.
Apple plans to loosen App Store payment policy
Apple announced on Wednesday it will loosen some of its App Store policies, allowing media apps to steer customers directly to their websites without paying commission.
The change, to be implemented early next year, is being introduced to end an investigation by the Japan Fair Trade Commission.
The modification will spare so-called reader apps that provide digital content such as newspapers, books, music or video from having to use the App Store payment system and thus avoid paying a 30 percent commission.
“We have great respect for the Japan Fair Trade Commission and appreciate the work we’ve done together, which will help developers of reader apps make it easier for users to set up and manage their apps and services while protecting their privacy and maintaining their trust,” Apple Fellow Phil Schiller said in a blog post.
Developers of the digital content apps will be able to link to their websites where users can create or manage accounts, according to Apple.
While the change resulted from an agreement with the JFTC, it will apply globally to all reader apps at the App Store, the Silicon Valley tech giant said.
Apple has come under fire for its tight control of the App Store, where developers are required to use its payment system.
Apple charges a commission of as much as 30 percent on sales of digital content or subscriptions at the App Store, with the payment system making certain the company gets its piece of the action.
“Because developers of reader apps do not offer in-app digital goods and services for purchase, Apple agreed with the JFTC to let developers of these apps share a single link to their website to help users set up and manage their account,” Apple said in a post.
Apple last week agreed to loosen payment restrictions on its App Store, a major change announced in a settlement with small developers as the US technology giant faces growing scrutiny and legal challenges over its tightly controlled online marketplace.
The change will allow small developers to inform their customers of alternative payment options beyond the official App Store.
In a class-action lawsuit, the developers had accused Apple of monopolistic distribution practices by operating the sole gateway to get apps or other content onto iPhones and other devices powered by iOS software.
The proposed settlement is pending court approval.
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