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New report reveals preference as African businesses transition from cash-based B2B payments

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A new report that includes the surveyed opinions of more than 1,000 business owners from Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and Egypt has revealed ease of use, reliability and speed as the preferred features for African businesses when it comes to business-to-business payment methods.

When asked what they liked about their current payment methods, 29 percent of respondents chose ease of use, 28 percent chose reliability and 18 percent chose speed. More than digitised processes (10 percent), affordability (10 percent) and customisation (5 percent).

The State of B2B Payments in Africa report, which was compiled by Duplo, a business payment platform for African businesses of all sizes, also revealed that bank transfers are the most common medium for making and receiving payments between businesses today, more common than cash, cheques and mobile money. When asked which methods their organisations used for making payments to other businesses, 85 percent of respondents chose bank transfers as one of the ways they made payments, compared to 60 percent for cash, 23 percent for cheques and 17 percent for mobile money. When asked about receiving payments from other businesses, 62 percent said they received payments via bank transfers, compared to 59 percent for cash, 32 percent for cheques and 15 percent for mobile money.

The apparent transition from cash-based transactions highlighted in the report represents a major shift in business behaviour, with cash payments historically dominating B2B payment on the continent. The findings of the report also suggests that beyond the clamour for digitised payments, African businesses want payment processes that are effective and efficient, rather than digital payments just for the sake of it.

The report also highlighted that 44 percent of businesses still have to wait more than 24 hours to receive payments from business customers and partners. 34 percent take up to 7 days to receive payments, 17 percent take up to 30 days and 3 percent take more than 30 days to receive business payments. This presents a significant challenge for businesses who are often unable to maximise the opportunities available to them due to cash flow restrictions induced by complex payment flows.

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According to the World Bank, B2B payments in Sub-Saharan Africa represents a $1.5 trillion market. However, the process of making and receiving payment remains largely manual, which makes it expensive and highly inefficient for businesses. Invoices are also not standardised and they are typically issued and received manually, which increases the administrative burden on business owners, taking more time and effort that can be invested into their businesses.

Commenting on the findings of the report, Yele Oyekola, CEO and co-founder of Duplo, said, “African businesses, large and small, are the lifeblood of the continent’s economy, and making it easier for more to flow between them should be a priority. The data from the report highlights a much-needed transition from cash-based payments but that is just the beginning. There are still various challenges in the payment process that make it difficult for businesses to maximise opportunities to scale their operations. We need to constantly innovate around these challenges to more effectively position African businesses for the growth they need to power economic growth on the continent”.

The State of B2B Payments in Africa is available to download for free on Duplo’s website.

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Egypt’s BONBELL seeks $10 million seed funding after closing $350,000 initial round

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Egypt’s startup BONBELL, the first mobile App in the Food-tech industry specialized in food ordering, digital solutions for table and meal reservations, has closed an initial funding round for $350,000. This is through a Canadian Angel investor, to help further develop the App services and achieve a level of growth in regard to user count and daily orders.

BONBELL launched its own App in early 2022, to offer a wide range of food ordering services in Egypt. The App offers many food ordering solutions, from food delivery to restaurant’s reservations and Dine-in ordering through a QR Code on the tables, as well as take away services. The App offers various payment solutions through cash or credit cards.

BONBELL has partnered with many restaurants and cafes, as well as clubs like Heliopolis Club and Smash Club. It also offers its services in Malls and Cinemas, to offer a smoother food ordering experience, reserving tables and food delivery, for mall and cinema goers. It has also strategically partnered with many leading major companies and institutions. Most notably the German University in Cairo (GUC), and Raya Telecom, in order to offer its services in their respective headquarters for employees and visitors alike.

The Food-Tech startup targets raising its partnered restaurants to 750 by the end of 2022. The company is also negotiating with two venture capital funds from Europe and the Gulf, to close a $10 million fund in its seed round by the end of the year.

Doaa Abdel-Hameed, the Chief Business Officer of the company said: “we aim to help restaurants in offering an easier food ordering experience to their customers. Either through food delivery or reserving a table in the restaurant, as well as taking away orders and also the special orders made by customers in their restaurants.”

“We pursue a better experience for the Egyptian user in food ordering. We see a lot of potential and opportunities to do that through developing the App constantly based on the user reviews. And adding more restaurants in all of the Egyptian governorates.” She added.

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BONBELL has earned the trust of more than 12,000 customers, who used the app in food ordering in all the ways offered through the App, in just 6 month.

Doaa Abdel-Hameed emphasized that the success of BONBELL App, in offering the best experience to its users can only be done through strategic partnerships with many more restaurants. In addition to the constant development of the technology used in the App, as well as relying on offering inventive solutions to the Egyptian user such as (Robotic Stations) service. 

This service will offer customers the experience of food ordering and serving through a Robot, without any human intervention. It is expected to launch in Egypt at the end of 2023.

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GrubTech partners Geidea to provide cutting-edge e-payment solutions for restaurants and cloud kitchens in Egypt

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GrubTech, UAE’s leading cloud kitchens and restaurants tech solutions provider, signed an agreement with Geidea, a leading e-payments and fintech platform, to provide its services for the BOSs of GrubTech’s clients. This cooperation will avail an added value and new merits for GrubTech’s clients in the Egyptian market. GrunTech’s Egypt Country Manager Osama Harfoush, and Head of Commercials at Geidea Ahmed Magdy signed the agreement in the presence of GrubTech’s Founder and CEO Mohamed Al Fayed and the General Manager of Geidea in Egypt Ahmed Nader.

Founded in 2019, GrubTech is a platform that provides tech solutions to manage cloud kitchens and restaurants in a way that enables them automating their businesses and managing food delivery process online. The leading cloud kitchens and restaurants tech solutions provider also provides sales and marketing solutions as well as in-depth analyses of restaurants data that contributes to accelerating their work and reducing their costs as well.

For Geidea, it is currently the favorable choice for merchants in the Egyptian market who seek to count on the fastest and easiest e-payment solutions. Geidea provides a unique and integrated services that qualified it to acquire a large market share of the e-payments in Egypt.  

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Commenting on the signing, CEO and Founder of GrubTech Mohamed Al Fayed said that this agreement is a part of the company’s strategy that aims at expanding in establishing grand commercial partnerships with the major key players in food and beverages (F&B) market in MENA region.

“This cooperation will come into effect in Egypt, originally, and then it is planned to cover other countries that GrubTech operates in, including in MENA; Asia and Africa”, Al Fayed added.

Egypt’s Country Manager of GrubTech expressed his excitement of inking the agreement, asserting that it represents a significant step in terms of GrubTech’s plan to build a system that integrates with its objectives to create a platform that contains all solutions the restaurants and cafes in the local market need.

“Tech solutions GrubTech provides benefit its clients in easing selling and purchasing transactions, tapping digital transformation policy all institutions across the world adopted recently towards sustainable development goals achievement by 2030”, said Harfoush.

On his side, General Manager of Geidea in Egypt Ahmed Nader said that he is pleased about this cooperation with GrubTech as one of the leading tech solutions providers as well as a cloud kitchens and restaurants management system designer.

“This agreement is an imperative action for Geidea in order to expand in F&B market that is growing rabidly in Egypt. It will enable cafes and restaurants owners to work more efficiently, while providing a better experience in terms of online food delivery. It will also help the business owners increasing sales through utilizing multifarious trademarks via a single window in an easy way”, Nader stated.

Head of Commercials at Geidea, Ahmed Magdy said that the company’s vision is providing all merchants and business owners with innovative payment solutions that help growing their businesses and facilitating their management.

“Through collaborating with GrubTech, we target expanding our operations in F&B sector by introducing cutting-edge e-payment solutions. Cloud kitchens and restaurants sector is notably growing in Egypt with accelerating digital transformation, which gives us a significant opportunity to provide an all-in-one operating system that eases the process for our clients”, according to Magdy.

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Mouka Parent Company, Dolidol International Group, Appoints Dr Adesegun Akin-Olugbade as New Vice Chairman

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Mouka, the market leader in Nigeria’s sleep industry and a new member of the Dolidol International group, has appointed Dr Adesegun Akin-Olugbade as its new Vice Chairman. The Board of Mouka’s parent company, Dolidol, has given their vote of confidence to the new Vice Chairman, who has an impressive resume of sterling accomplishments.

According to the Managing Director of Mouka, Mr Femi Fapohunda, the new Vice Chairman’s expertise is in finance, corporate governance and law. As a Non-Executive Board Member, his input and guidance to decision-making by Mouka’s Executive Directors would help propel Mouka to even greater heights. Dr Adesegun is the Founder and Managing Partner of Luwaji Nominees, a legal and corporate advisory services firm and currently serves as Of Counsel at Clifford Chance (CC Worldwide Limited) and International Counsel at ÆLEX.

A graduate of King’s College London (LL. B (Hons) 1983, LL.M 1985) and Harvard Law School (LL.M ’88 and SJD ’91), in addition to being the Overall Best Student at the Nigerian Law School in 1984. He has served for over 30 years in the legal profession and financial services sector; having worked at both the technical and executive management level, in the public and private sector, for leading commercial law firms, multilateral development banks and international financial institutions.

He was previously General Counsel and Senior Director at the African Development Bank (AfDB) (2000 -2007) and the first Chief Legal Officer and Head of the Legal Services Department of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) (1993 – 1997). In December 2018, he retired as Executive Director (Chief Operating Officer), General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Africa Finance Corporation (AFC).

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Adesegun A. Akin-Olugbade has significant Board level experience. He was a non-Executive Director and former Chairman of the Governance Committee of Ecobank Transnational Inc. (ETI). He was also a Founding Director and Managing Partner of AFC’s wholly owned subsidiary, AFC Equity Investments Limited, Mauritius. He was a founding shareholder and former non-Executive Director of Asset & Resources Management (ARM) Company, a leading financial services company in Nigeria. He is a life member of the Nigerian Conservation Foundation and Trustee of the African Refugee Foundation (AREF) and of the Nigerian Law School Class of 1984. 

In 2003, he was invited to be a member of the Committee on International Monetary Law of the International Law Association (MOCOMILA) and joined the World Trade Board as the first African member in 2019.

Adesegun A. Akin-Olugbade is an alumnus of several Executive Management Programs including the Wharton CEO Academy, the IMD Executive Management Program and the HEC (Montreal) Management Development Program (MDP). He is an Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON), a national honour conferred on him by the Nigerian Government in September 2012.

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