India is making a host of its e-governance tools – including the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) and Aadhaar identity service – available to other countries via open APIs.
Available via the India Stack website, the project is “a set of open APIs and digital public goods that aim to unlock the economic primitives of identity, data, and payments at population scale”.
Says the site: “The principles, technologies, and functionality of India Stack can be applied in any country. None of the systems which comprise India Stack require any proprietary technology or intellectual property which would preclude their implementation in any other country.”
In a speech during Digital India Week, prime minister Narendra Modi boasted about the success of the instant payments network, UPI, claiming: “Everyone, including the World Bank, has appreciated it as the best platform.”
Launched in 2016, the UPI has now handled 99 billion transactions, recording 2200 every second in May.
Along with the RuPay card network, UPI has been central to India’s efforts to use digital payments to boost financial inclusion. Modi says this has proved a huge success, noting: “Once, I found that a beggar in Bihar was begging on a platform and he was taking money digitally.”
Says Modi: “Therefore, today digital products like UPI are the centre of attraction for developed countries of the world, or those countries which cannot invest in this type of technology. Our digital solutions have the reach, are secure and have democratic values.”
Nigeria’s SEC Grants Volition Cap License to Kickstart Fund Management
Volition Cap, an asset management company empowering the hardworking middle-class to create wealth, announced today that it has secured a fund management license from the Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), as of December 2022.
This license allows the company to operate as a registered fund manager in Nigeria, as it prepares to launch a suite of retail and institutional investment products for Africans living on the continent and in the Diaspora.
Founded in 2018, Volition Cap is a game-changing asset manager that leverages traditional cooperatives, a model it created through Volition Cooperative, a licensed multi-purpose cooperative making investing stress-free for its members.
By leveraging technology to distribute products, Volition Cap will reduce the cost of investment services and the challenge of easy access. With the credibility and trust that an SEC license confers, this home-grown business is poised to scale its bespoke products across Africa and the Diaspora.
Subomi Plumptre, CEO of Volition Cap, said, “Our company was founded by entrepreneurs who truly understand the daily struggles of the middle class. From our operation’s inception, we have focused on empowering this group to attain financial success. The SEC license is a significant milestone for us as we introduce retail and institutional products to drive economic growth.”
QNET Creates Initiative To Increase Financial Inclusion In Youth Communities
Global e-commerce based direct selling company, QNET is working to increase financial inclusion in youth communities through its signature educational programme called FinGreen.
FinGreen aims to boost financial inclusion in underserved communities by empowering individuals with the skills required to be financially confident, aware, and savvy through its three pillars: assessing target communities, training them, and transforming participants into financial literacy advocates.
One of the programme’s first ambassadors, Anuoluwapo Ayoola, is sharing her newly gained financial skills and knowledge with 70 university students at a workshop she organised in Abuja about educating other young people about the importance of financial literacy as an essential life skill.
She said, “I am thrilled to have organised a financial literacy workshop at the University of Abuja, with the generous support of QNET. Financial literacy is not just about managing money. It’s about creating a better future for ourselves and future generations. As an ambassador of FinGreen, I’m excited for more opportunities to educate my peers on why financial education and literacy are so important!”
Ayoola based her financial literacy workshop on campus at the University of Abuja on the insights and understanding she gained as part of the pilot cohort to complete the first phase of FinGreen trainings, which kicked off in Nigeria in June of 2022. She designed the first module of her workshop to challenge the assumptions on financial literacy, educating the 70 participants on how they can adjust their mindset to utilise financial knowledge for their benefit.
The second module drew on Ayoola’s experience as a student, where she shared practical strategies and tips on how participants can manage their finances as students and as working adults. This will be crucial to help participants manage their financial sustainability and investment, seeing as many Nigerian students bear significant debt due to the increasing cost of tertiary education.
Mr. Biram Fall, the regional general Manager of QNET Sub-Saharan Africa, said, “We are honoured to support Anu Ayoola and the University of Abuja’s Financial Literacy Workshop. With the constantly shifting financial landscape and the digitisation of financial services, young people need to be equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to make informed decisions about their money. Not just that, we want to continue helping young people, like Anu Ayoola, develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills and foster a sense of responsibility and leadership through FinGreen.”
US Investigates Mastercard Debit Card Programme
Mastercard says the Department of Justice is investigating potential anticompetitive behaviour related to its debit card operations.
In an SEC regulatory filing, the payments giant says that last month it received a civil investigative demand from the DoJ seeking documents and information regarding a potential violation of the Sherman Act, a competition law.
“The CID focuses on Mastercard’s US debit program and competition with other payment networks and technologies,” says the filing.
In 2021, the DoJ began a similar investigation into Visa and whether the company had restricted the ability of merchants to send debit transactions through less expensive networks.
According to Bloomberg, in January the justice department issued more CIDs to Visa seeking additional documents and information.
Mastercard CFO Sachin Mehra tells Bloomberg: “It’s not surprising that the DOJ would request information from other players in the debit space.”