SystemSpecs, a financial technology company, says small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) need to utilize electronic payments to scale up.
This was said by Demola Igbalajobi, managing director of SystemSpecs technology, during a panel discussion at the recent 2022 Lagos Leather Fair, which was titled “Navigating the Challenges of Payment Gateways: What’s the Way Out for SMEs.”
He asserted that it is impossible to overstate the importance of electronic payment in the development and success of SMEs in Africa.
“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 to transact internationally,” Igbalajobi said.
“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.”
Igbalajobi predicted that as more payment gateways link up with banks, these intra-African transfers would grow simpler over time.
Nigeria has one of the most versatile payment systems in the world, according to the computer expert.
“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 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.”
Igbalajobi 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,” he said.
The top leather brands in West Africa are on display at the Lagos Leather Fair.
The minister for business, trade, and investment, Adeniyi Adebayo, Tokunboh Ishameal, managing partner and co-founder of Alitheia Capital, and Temwa Gondwe, manager of the AFREXIM Bank’s intra-African trade program, were among those present.