Market News

‘African SMEs Need Electronic Payments To Scale Up’ - LEADERSHIP

JUNE 25, 2022

The managing director of SystemSpecs Technology, Demola Igbalajobi, has said, small and medium-sized businesses need to adopt electronic payments in order to scale up, adding that, the role played by electronic payments in the growth and success of SMEs in Africa cannot be overemphasised.

Igalajobi, while speaking during a panel session tagged ‘Navigating the Challenges of Payment Gateways: What’s the way out for SMEs,’ at the 2022 Lagos Leather Fair, noted that, “for the African market, one thing that has happened over the last few years is the recognition that we have to solve the problems the African way for Africans.

“For businesses the first thing is to go online and get payment gateways that allow you transact internationally. Over the next few months, you will see more financial institutions and more payment gateways that allow you the option to transfer and pay seamlessly internationally.”

According to Igbalajobi, these intra-African transactions will get easier with time as more payment gateways connect and connect with banks. Already, eight banks have come onstream for the Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPPS).

The technology expert also touted Nigeria as having currently one of the most advanced payment systems in the world.

“What other countries are celebrating today, we had done it in Nigeria over 10 years ago. The fintech ecosystem in Nigeria is so advanced that we now have unicorns” he stated.

Describing how intra-African payment systems work, Igbalajobi said: “the whole idea is that, from your payment gateway, you should be able to see who you are paying to in the next country.

“This can only be possible if the payment gateway also facilitates currency exchange seamlessly. You don’t need what is happening between naira and other currencies. Just log in and carry out your transaction. The infrastructure is already there. It is about ease, it is about access.”

He further urged African SMEs to maximise the advantage of electronic payment systems. “As an SME, you need to plug into electronic payment systems. It is difficult for you to scale without this advantage.”

The Lagos Leather Fair is an initiative that seeks to showcase West Africa’s leading leather brands.


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