Ethiopian bank shames customers for glitch money

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April 8, 2024
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8 min read
Commercial Bank of Ethiopia

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Ciao,

Victoria from Techpoint here,

Here's what I've got for you today:

  • Ethiopian bank shames customers for glitch money
  • Jump n Pass rolls out self-checkout services
  • Zimbabwe launches gold-backed digital currency
  • Nigeria to launch a payment-integrated ID 

Ethiopian bank shames customers for glitch money

Commercial Bank of Ethiopia

The Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE) has plastered posters outside its branches, outing customers who allegedly didn't return the money they scored during a technical hiccup. 

Here’s what happened: Last month, there was this “systems glitch,” allowing CBE customers to withdraw or transfer more dough than they had in their accounts. 

Word on the street is that most of the moolah was snagged by university students, with a whopping 490,000 transactions made before CBE even realised what was going down.

The Ethiopian bank claims it's managed to claw back almost three-quarters of the $14 million lost during the glitch.

Now, CBE is playing hardball. It’s threatening legal action against anyone holding onto cash that ain't theirs. And it seems to be working because thousands have already handed back the extra cash.

Interestingly, the bank's gone as far as putting up posters with photos of alleged culprits outside their branches in Addis Ababa. It has even named and shamed them on its website, along with their account numbers. Talk about a digital takedown!

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However, CBE claims it’s not sweating it. It’s confident it can track down anyone who's been playing fast and loose with their cash. And with over 38 million people holding accounts at CBE, that's a lot of eyes watching.


Jump n Pass rolls out self-checkout services

Someone using scanning products with their phones at Justrite using Jump n Pass

Jump n Pass has teamed up with Justrite Limited to roll out its mobile self-checkout services in all Justrite Superstores across Nigeria.

This startup, which kicked off in 2023, aims to blend the online and offline shopping experience. Now, with the partnership with Justrite, shoppers can enjoy the convenience of mobile self-checkout in all 26 Justrite stores nationwide.

According to Tunde Ademuyiwa, the Founder and CEO of Jump n Pass, the service is already up and running at Justrite Superstores in Bariga, Lagos, with other stores set to follow suit in the coming weeks.

The mobile self-checkout feature promises faster checkouts, slashing queues at the cash counters by a whopping 60%. Plus, it's a win-win for stores, as it not only enhances the shopping experience but also boosts revenue.

Here's how it works: Customers scan a barcode upon entering the store, and the Jump n Pass app syncs with the store's inventory. Shoppers then scan items with their smartphones, add them to an online cart, and make payments digitally. While a store attendant verifies the purchases, the process still speeds up checkout significantly.

But hold on, there's a catch: The service is limited to a few items to avoid creating longer queues. However, it's a perfect fit for Justrite, known for its heavy foot traffic.

In addition to faster checkouts, stores also gain access to inventory finance, while Jump n Pass earns revenue by charging a small convenience fee to customers who opt for the self-checkout option.

With ambitious targets to capture a significant portion of Justrite's foot traffic, Jump n Pass is poised for growth, although rolling out its service in new stores requires some heavy lifting.


Zimbabwe launches gold-backed digital currency

gold
gold stack and flying coins with rocket performance for price increase and bull market concept. with a running bull

Remember this? Zimbabwe to launch gold-backed digital currency

A year after the country announced plans to launch its gold-backed digital currency, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has rolled out the currency.

The currency is known as ZiG, short for Zimbabwe Gold, backed by the country's gold reserves. 

The move aims to stabilise the economy and shield citizens from currency fluctuations and rampant inflation.

Announced by Central Bank Governor John Mushayavanhu, ZiG is set to replace the struggling Zimbabwean dollar, which has drastically lost value this year. 

Citizens have 21 days to convert their old cash into the new currency, while the US dollar will remain legal tender for the majority of transactions.

The new banknotes will come in various denominations, including 1, 2, 5, 10, 50, 100, and 200 ZiG, with coins also being introduced. These coins, backed by Zimbabwe's gold reserves, will help alleviate the shortage of US coins, which has led to unusual practices like receiving change in sweets or small chocolates.

Experts have raised concerns about whether Zimbabwe's gold reserves are sufficient to adequately support the currency and whether it might be susceptible to volatility in gold prices.

Zimbabwe's gold deposits play a significant role in the economy, accounting for nearly a quarter of the nation's total exports. However, neighbouring countries like South Africa boast much larger reserves, raising questions about Zimbabwe's capacity to defend its currency against external shocks.

In the past, Zimbabwe has grappled with currency instability, having abandoned its currency in 2009 due to hyperinflation. It later reintroduced the Zimbabwean dollar in 2019, followed by the introduction of gold coins in 2022 to curb devaluation and reduce reliance on the US dollar.


Nigeria to launch a payment-integrated ID

NIMC

The Nigerian government, through the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), is cooking up a payment-integrated ID for both social and financial services.

It’s teaming up with the Nigeria Inter-bank Settlement System (NIBSS) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for this project, tapping into AfriGo, a local card scheme launched by the CBN back in January 2023.

This new card is set to be a game-changer, addressing the need for physical identification while also granting access to government and private services, boosting financial inclusion, and empowering citizens.

But here's the kicker: you'll need to be registered with the National Identification Number (NIN) to apply for the card. 

Now, not everyone's thrilled about this. Some Nigerians are expressing frustration, citing the hassle of getting their NIN in the first place. Understandable, right?

However, the NIMC says it’s making it easier to get your hands on the new card. You can snag one from online platforms, commercial banks, participating agencies, or NIMC offices across the country. Well, I’m not sure how easy this can get but we’ll see.

And just when you thought that was it, the government also announced the launch of the Nigeria Digital Identification for Development Project Ecosystem Steering Committee. Phew, that's a mouthful! 

This committee will oversee the Nigeria Digital ID4D Project, aiming to give every Nigerian a secure digital identity and open up new opportunities in the digital economy.


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Have a productive week ahead!

Victoria Fakiya for Techpoint Africa.

She's autistic and interested in mental health and how technology can help Africans with mental disorders. Find her on Twitter @latoria_ria.
She's autistic and interested in mental health and how technology can help Africans with mental disorders. Find her on Twitter @latoria_ria.
She's autistic and interested in mental health and how technology can help Africans with mental disorders. Find her on Twitter @latoria_ria.

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