Nigeria grosses over $100 billion through e-payment annually-
Valentine Obi is the Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria’s premiere e-payment solutions provider, eTranzact International Plc. In this interview with Jonah Nwokpoku, he speaks on the evolution of the electronic payment industry in Nigeria, vis-a-vis the growth of his company which was founded in 2003 and got rebranded only last week. He argues that the electronic payment industry has come of age, having grown tremendously over the past decade but says there is still huge potential yet untapped in the industry.
Excerpts eTranzact has just rebranded its identity, what does this mean for the company?
Valentine Obi It shows that we have affirmed our leadership position in the electronic payment industry, not only in Nigeria but all over Africa. If you look at the new ‘e’, it talks about empowerment, its electronic, it talks about ease and also efficiency and that is what we want to reaffirm clearly to the public.
Following the rebranding, what more can customers expect from eTranzact?
From now on, customers are going to be seeing a lot more of eTranzact. Before, we used to be a Business-to-Business, B2B Company whereby our only targets are the banks, so our target was limited. But now we are going into the Business-to-Consumer, B2C segment with other products. So you are going to be seeing a lot more visible eTranzact in the market and not just more visible but with creative and innovative solutions to empower people, make their payments easier, and make it more efficient.
Last year, eTranzact recorded over 110 million transactions valued at about $30 billion, what do you expect this year?
This year, our plan is to double it and to make sure that our users have better experience using the platform than before. If you look at the $30 billion we made, it is about 30 per cent of e-payments made in Nigeria or a little bit more, so it just tells me that the market has come of age because, I remember that in first two years, our total transaction was less than $100,000. In the first year, it was actually N35 million only, for the whole year. So if you look at how the transaction has grown, it has shown indeed that there are a lot of people coming onboard, there is traction, and people are beginning to see that this really is working. The fear that people used to have before seems to have diminished, compared to before.
If you benchmark your business and the volume, and in comparison with other e-payment providers, what do you think is the volume of transactions in a year across several platforms within the industry?
If we say that what we are doing is about 25 to 30 per cent of the e-payment industry. That gives you an understanding that we are doing over $100 billion in terms of transaction value in the market. But you know, all of us put together have not even scratched the surface, because there is still a lot of potential, there are still a lot of people that are not even in the system and this is what the CBN is trying to do, to see how we can get as many people as possible.
Why did they register so many mobile money operators?
It is because they know that one or two operators cannot do it. They want to give a lot of opportunities so that we can see how we can garner more people into that space and reduce money in the unbanked sector and get them into the banking system.
Do you have any plans on adjusting your cost of transactions in order to bring in more people and increase volume of transaction?
Always, our cost of transaction has been the lowest in the industry. This is because of our belief that we need to incentivize people to come onto the platform. But not only us, even the CBN has also helped to see how we can bring costs down all in efforts to encourage more people to use electronic system. We are doing that already, we are even enabling some free services. Before now, we used to charge for some Application Programme Interface, APIs before you can do e-commerce but these days, we even give it to some of them for free of charge, just to encourage more people. We are also trying to get more schools, especially the universities that run computer programmes to get their students, what we call the young developers programme, all in effort to see how we can make this more affordable and available to the people. This is because, the bigger the cake is, the better for everybody. So we are looking at how we can make it bigger to let more people come in.
What are you doing to get the unbanked banked?
That is what the whole of our mobile money product, the PocketMoni is doing. For example, what we have decided is that, first, there must be used cases. You cannot just give people a product without telling them what they will do with it. So, there must be used cases and we have done that. Secondly, there is a need to be in the face of the people, go down to the market women and show them how to use the product and we have started that as well. We ran a pilot in Ketu and we have now deployed fully in Ketu market right inside the market. We have an office inside so we can show the people how to use it and it has been growing. We have another one in Kano and another one in Abeokuta, Ogun State. So the idea is to go down to the masses themselves and try as much as possible to remove the fear that there is some voodoo in e-payment, and you know Nigerians, the moment you can show that the money could be moved with ease and is secure, they will latch onto it.
VenueHero named official partner of 2016 Event Safety Summit By Jonah Nwokpoku Nigeria’s online venue booking platform, VenueHero.co has been appointed the official partner of this year’s Event Safety Summit scheduled to hold on July 5th and 6th at the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry building in Lagos.
VenueHero.co provides simple venue booking solution online for the general public, event planners and venue owners. It is a web-based application for venue discovery, bookings and reservations. The Event Safety Summit which is packaged by Event Basics Nigeria and Event Safety Alliance Nigeria in Partnership with Event Safety Alliance, USA, is aimed at domesticating the knowledge gained from the annual Event Safety Summit in the US.
Mike Lord of Alliance Safety Management, South Africa representing ESA, USA will be the keynote speaker while the Director General, Lagos State Safety Commission, Mr. Fouad Alade-Oki is expected to use the opportunity to present The Lagos Event Safety Policy. Speaking on the partnership, Founder, VenueHero, Uche Aniche said: “VenueHero.co take the stress off organising events by eliminating one of the biggest pain points for organisers. People can book and pay for venues instantly and facility managers and owner gets useful metrics to grow and improve their service in real time.
We are happy to partner for this event as it will provide us the opportunity to do what we know how to do best and provide the needed strategic logistics support to boost the event’s profile.” Also speaking, Founder, Event Basics, Tenidade Eboda, said: “The whole point of hosting/attending an event is to create fun and positive lasting memories. If we do not make efforts to identify and plan for the risks associated with the activities, we end up achieving quite the opposite. The event will allow stakeholders to interact and compare notes. We are so excited to have VenueHero on board as a strategic partner.”Source: vanguardngr.com
Opinion: Nigeria is an emerging market, so the potentials are awesome. More investments are needed on this sector.
C.V.Akuta Media UK.