Connect with us

Business Home

Interswitch, Paga Adopt Open Banking, to Champion Advocacy in Nigeria

Published

on

i

Interswitch Office. Pic: GuardianNG

LAGOS, NIGERIA. August 14, 2019: Interswitch, Africa’s largest integrated digital payments and financial technology firm, and pioneer mobile payments firm, Paga have joined other forward-thinking stakeholders in Nigeria’s financial services industry to adopt Open Banking and champion its advocacy in Nigeria with the aim of driving innovation and choice for customers, businesses, financial technology firms, banks and other players in Nigeria’s financial ecosystem.

This information recently emerged as both firms respectively entered a partnership with Open Technology Foundation (OTF), the not-for-profit organisation driving the development and adoption of Open Banking standards in Nigeria.

The addition of Interswitch and Paga as the newest corporate members of the Open Banking Nigeria would serve to further drive the adoption and promotion of a standard Application Programming Interface (API) for financial services in Nigeria.

Around the world, Open Banking is fast transforming the financial landscape, enabling and extending financial services beyond the realm of native services and offerings, improving overall customer engagement and increasing revenue from new channels. The benefits also include the enablement of a sustainable service model for underserved markets.

Of the 47 countries at various stages of Open Banking implementation, Nigeria is the only African country.

For almost two decades, Interswitch has been at the forefront of innovation in Africa’s banking and financial services industry and has set an informal standard for numerous aspects of digital payments in the country as well as the African continent.

“At Interswitch, we believe that standardized APIs would significantly transform payments in Nigeria and Africa as a whole. Nigeria is a global leader in payments and is expected to similarly lead with Open APIs. As an organization, we are committed to working with banks and the Central Bank to actualize the Open Banking agenda of the Payment Systems Vision 2030,” 

said Akeem Lawal, Divisional Chief Executive Officer for Payment Processing at Interswitch.

Also Read Lillian Barnard: Tech Enthusiast And First Female Managing Director, Microsoft South Africa

Speaking on Paga’s collaboration with the Open Technology Foundation, Paga’s Co-founder and Director of Business Development, Jay Alabraba said: “We understand the importance of collaboration to achieve the goal of extending the frontiers of payments and financial services as a whole. Partnering with Open Technology and other industry stakeholders would further advance our innovative drive, broaden the wide range of our solution offerings to customers, and favourably position Paga to contribute to deepening financial inclusion in Nigeria.”

Ope Adeoye, a trustee at Open Banking Nigeria, welcomed Interswitch and Paga to the movement of likeminded futuristic stakeholders working together to build the next generation of Application Programming Interface (API) standard for the Nigerian banking and financial services industry.

Paga is a mobile payment company that has served over 12 million customers and processed over 72 million transactions worth $4.6 billion in a decade. The firm is building an ecosystem to enable people to digitally send and receive money and creating simple financial access for everyone.

Providing convenience and real value for consumers, Interswitch is an Africa-focused integrated digital payments and commerce company that facilitates the electronic circulation of money as well as the exchange of value between individuals and organisations on a timely and consistent basis.

Visit Open Banking

Business Home

Kwik Delivery reaches 2000 verified customers 2 months after its launch in Lagos

Published

on

By

kwik verifies its customers through mobile phone OTP as well as email verification

LAGOS, Nigeria, August 22, 2019 – Just two months after its launch in Lagos, the kwik Delivery platform reached 2000 verified customers and is already well on its way toward 3000 verified customers.

“We are thrilled by the response from Lagosians to our on-demand B2B delivery service. Among the 2000 verified customers are several large corporate accounts as well as numerous merchants relying on our service to deliver good and documents to their suppliers, customers, business partners and so on”, explains Romain POIROT-LELLIG, Founder & CEO of Africa Delivery Technologies (ADT), developer of the kwik app.

kwik is seeing a very wide typology of customers signing up and using its platform, from pharmaceutical companies such as Medsaf to construction companies like SPIE to automotive companies such as Mitsubishi. Kwik is also used by hundreds of merchants who use it to make deliveries to their suppliers and to their customers in Lagos.

Also Read Cycles, Nigeria’s No.1 Bike-Sharing Platform Achieving The United Nations SDG Goal 11 – Damilola Soladoye

kwik verifies its customers through mobile phone OTP as well as email verification. In addition, Corporate customers need to provide their corporate registration number and are brought on board by a dedicated team that checks their background.

“We are also thrilled to observe that not only our customers return, but that they are using the service for farther and more complex delivery use cases as they gain confidence in our ability to deliver to them a great service. Average order value is going up! ” continues Romain POIROT-LELLIG.

“We will continue to work hard to expand and improve our service for them”, concluded Romain POIROT-LELLIG.

Kwik

Continue Reading

Business Home

5 Ideas to shape your focus on Business Partnerships or Collaborations

Published

on

By

Picture: Rawpixel

Business collaborations or partnerships are a great way to create more value for our business, clients, and consumers. However, here are five (5) things to keep at the back of your mind when pursuing business partnerships:

1. Partnerships should be meaningful.There should be a reason why you would want to partner or be partnered. From my experience having started a new business, the essence of collaborating with another company is to create more value for your clients and your business towards a certain goal or vision. It is also important to note that, there should be a clear revenue model created for business partnerships so that you would know exactly how financial value can be measured. On the other hand, know what you would also be bringing to the table. You should be bringing some great value to your partner’s business too. Understand their current goal for the partnership and be sure it is in alignment with yours. It’s a win-win.

2. Choose a partner who respects you.

I have collaborated with partners who didn’t respect me as a person and all of such partnerships even when they made us some good money, didn’t bring us fulfillment because we had to bend the rules quite too often. There are a lot of entrepreneurs and business leaders out there who are selfish, disrespectful and mean. Be on the lookout because when someone disrespects you and your processes, it affects how you run your business in general.

3. Choose a partner that is aligned with you.

Once you partner with another company whose work culture is not aligned with yours, you would always have problems executing projects because you two may not believe in the same processes and principles. Even though every organization has a distinct work culture, it becomes more difficult working with another company whose work culture doesn’t marry yours.

4. Choose a structured organization.

Before marrying with another business, be sure and certain on their organizational structure and processes. It is not an easy experience working with an organization that isn’t well structured. An unstructured organization says a lot more about the business. It translates into an unserious organization with no clear vision, people and principles. This simply means the partner is not really ready for long-term business collaboration.

Also Read GO Ads: A hybrid Ad Network pushing adverts on every screen in Africa – Boluwa Olojo

5. Collaborations should bring results.

If it is all about the money, then probably it is just a short-term contract on a project. If it is about the value you intend to create towards a certain goal or vision, which is often ideal for a business partnership, then it should bring great results. For a startup, I would recommend having someone on your team to take care of business partnerships and collaborations. The entire marriage between your company and another should be results-oriented, sustainable and successful.

Overall, business partnerships or collaborations should make you stronger, better and greater with better value and offerings, as an organization. 

 

Author

Derrick S. Vormawor

Continue Reading

Economy

Nigeria’s informal economy: A catalyst for economic growth

Published

on

By

Balogun market, Lagos, Nigeria. Pic: Megainsights

In a country like Nigeria that lacks social safety nets and has a minimum wage of less than US$98, a significant section of the population have no choice other than to turn to the informal sector as a survival strategy. However, there is every potential for the informal sector to be more than just a means of survival.  If carried out effectively, government engagement with the informal sector can lead to an invaluable economy boost.

The informal sector: What are its contributions?

In a nutshell, an informal sector business is an unregistered business owned by one or more members of one or more households selling goods and services. Informal workers are workers engaging in work without formal employment contracts or workers producing goods for final use by their households. Jobs under this category include paid domestic workers, drivers, subsistence farmers and artisans. Over 61% of the world’s working population work in the informal sector. 85.8% of employment in Africa is in the informal sector. Over 65% of the working population in Nigeria is in the informal sector. In the 2016 fiscal year, 41% percent of GDP came from the informal sector and the informal economy also accounted for 73.7% of created jobs.

Whether the numbers tell the full story or not, the contribution of the informal sector to economic growth is more than negligible. Notwithstanding, the informal sector does not figure as prominently as it should in economic growth plans, even in previous administrations. The seven point agenda of the Umaru Musa Yar’adua administration did not consider the informal sector; neither did the transformation agenda of the Goodluck Jonathan administration.

Why must we pay more attention to the informal sector? Simple. The present and projected demographic of the Nigerian population demands it. Nearly 65 percent of Nigeria’s population is between the age of 15 and 64. Only about 8% of the adult population is formally employed.25% of Nigerian children aged between 5 and 17 are engaged in labour, all of whom are most likely in the informal economy. About 43 percent of women in Nigeria, particularly Northern Nigeria are married before the ages of 18 and in all likelihood have little to no chance of obtaining higher education. The chances of such individuals ending up in the informal economy are very high.

There are about 44.3 million small business owners in the sector employing about 22.9 million people. It is important to harness the potential contributions of the informal economy, which is responsible for the employment of such a significant section of the working population, to the fullest.

How can we remodel the informal economy? Two points will be made here. First of all, greater attention should be paid to proper regulation and structuring of activities in the informal economy. In doing so, the government could create an organization responsible for the registration of businesses in the informal sector all over the country. Such organization would be established by law and its activities monitored by established bodies. Subdivisions of such organization(s) at state and local government level could be established for effective monitoring at all levels. The Economic Growth and Recovery Plan (ERGP) developed by the Muhammadu Buhari Administration in 2017 places the responsibility of monitoring the informal economy on the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment. It remains to be seen whether this function will be carried out effectively by this organization.

Also Read Interview: African Energy Chamber Executive Chairman, NJ Ayuk on Transforming Africa’s Energy Sector

Any formalization processes that will be carried out under the ERGP or any other economic plan should comply with International Labour Organization (ILO) standards in that it provides opportunities for income security, livelihoods and entrepreneurship. If the informal economy can be formalized through registration of informal businesses and workers, an obvious dilemma would be how to develop a proper taxation regime. If formalization does not result in taxation, government revenue from a significant aspect of the economy is reduced. Taxation on the other hand may discourage business owners and workers from being registered. A possible solution may be granting tax reliefs to registered businesses and workers below a certain income or profit level with income derived from taxation of formalized units being redirected towards investment in such sectors.

Furthermore, effort should be directed towards removing any ‘stigma’ associated with the informal economy. 61% of all workers worldwide are informally employed and as discussed earlier, the informal sector makes significant contributions to the Nigerian economy. Concerted effort must be made towards promoting the informal sector as a viable economic growth/poverty reduction mechanism. Informal workers are also skilled workers and the informal economy is also a skilled economy.

Accordingly,the government can create and sponsor low-cost well-equipped skill platforms that connects individuals willing to work in the informal sector and experts together. The current government appear to be taking steps in this regard. In 2015, the government approved the establishment of Vocational Enterprise Institutions(VEIS) and Innovative Enterprise Institutions(IEIS), secondary schools which work with businesses to provide vocational and technical training. There are now about 82 VEIs and 152 IEIs in Nigeria.

However, these institutions, as with other educational institutions in Nigeria, suffer from funding problems and are also expensive for many of the prospective beneficiaries. The government could provide assistance in this regard by subsidizing costs for prospective attendees. Alternatively, the government could collaborate with private organizations to organize periodic technical training programmes for members of the public. The allocations to the Ministry of Education in the 2019 budget proposal and projects listed under it do not indicate that the government is willing to make significant investment in this regard anytime soon.

It may be unheralded but the strong contributions of the informal economy to employment and economic growth cannot be easily discountenanced. With proper structuring, it could be an economic goldmine.

 

Author

Oluwafifehan Ogunde is a research specialist and legal consultant. He has a PhD in Law from the University of Nottingham and is a qualified barrister and solicitor of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

 

Continue Reading

Subscribe via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,790 other subscribers

Ads

Most Viewed