Cellulant: Unlocking growth for businesses in Nigeria and rest of Africa through digital payments

Office Operations Manager, Cellulant Nigeria, Ifeoma Chukwuka (left); GM, Ibrahim Aminu; Senior Sales Director, Ademola Okuleye and Senior Manager Retail Marketing, Shedrach Oloche at a forum in Lagos.
By Guardian Nigeria
Office Operations Manager, Cellulant Nigeria, Ifeoma Chukwuka (left); GM, Ibrahim Aminu; Senior Sales Director, Ademola Okuleye and Senior Manager Retail Marketing, Shedrach Oloche at a forum in Lagos.

Over the last ten years, Nigeria has made progress toward a cashless economy, intending to lower the rate and high cost of cash handling, expand financial inclusion, and foster transparency. The investments made by fintech companies in developing digital payment systems have accelerated the adoption of the policy and facilitated this shift.
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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) introduced the cashless policy in Nigeria in 2011 to encourage people to conduct transactions using electronic payment methods rather than cash. CBN implemented this policy in response to the high expense of managing cash, cash-related crimes, and the restrained accessibility of conventional banking services in Nigeria. The policy encourages using electronic channels such as automated teller machines (ATMs), point of sale (POS) terminals, mobile banking, and online banking for transactions over a particular amount.

Although the transition has been challenging for the Nigerian population, Fintechs are playing a critical role in helping them transition to a cashless economy through their innovative payment solutions that are helping to make transactions more accessible and more convenient for Nigerians.

For Cellulant, a Pan-African payments company, the shift towards cashless transactions is a unique opportunity for businesses across Nigeria to tap into new global, Pan-Africa and local customer bases, deliver great customer experiences, and ultimately boost their growth.

Why Digital Payments Are Still Painful For Nigerian Businesses
More is needed for businesses to simply integrate mobile banking or an online payment app to receive payments. Companies need to tap into a payment processor offering comprehensive features to realise the benefits of cashless transactions fully.
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Take the example of Perfect Trust Cosmetics, a beauty brand offering its clientele quality hair and skin care products. They integrated online payments allowing customers to make bank transfers, but quickly faced the challenge of manual reconciliation.

Every time a customer pays online, the cashier must capture customer information and confirm with accounts that what they have tallies with what is in the backend before attending to the customer again. Such hectic painful processes offer a negative customer experience and are cumbersome for the business. Lack of real-time settlement, inability to view all business transactions in a single view and the cost of handling multiple digital payment methods are some of the other challenges businesses face in their quest to align themselves with the cashless policy.

These challenges deepen when you consider the operational complexities of the same business making B2B payments, for example, to their suppliers. While consumer-to-business (C2B) payments are usually immediate, business-to-business (B2B) payments involve many considerations, such as varying payment schedules for different vendors and discounts on prices dependent on payment methods and timing.

Unlocking Growth Through A Comprehensive Payment Processor
In a thriving high-growth economy like Nigeria, getting a suitable payment processor and making digital payments right can be a game changer for a business’s revenues. With the push towards a cashless economy, Nigerian consumer behaviour is changing, with customers expecting their preferred payment method to be available wherever they go or to pay from wherever they are. For a business, this means having the ability to integrate with multiple payment methods and offer your customers a superior experience and being able to handle increasing volumes. It also means having the option as a business in Nigeria to cater to customers in Ghana, Kenya, Zambia, and Senegal or quickly pay vendors from UK, China and so forth.

Businesses need a payment processor that can enable them to handle multiple payment methods and high transaction volumes with a real-time settlement.
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Tingg by Cellulant Delivering Value for Businesses
These are but some of the solutions that Cellulant offers businesses across Africa through its one-stop-shop digital payments platform, Tingg, from helping companies to mitigate the challenges of chargebacks and fraud to offering the reconciliation and analytics tools needed for operational business decisions.

Its vast payment network makes Tingg Africa’s most comprehensive payment platform handling key economies such as Nigeria, Ghana, Zambia, Kenya, Egypt and South Africa. It also has significant operations in Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Gabon, Ethiopia, Angola, Malawi, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Côte D’Ivoire, Cameroon, and Senegal.

Tingg handles over 370 payment methods directly integrating with banks, African mobile money operators, and global and regional card switches like Visa, Mastercard, NIBSS, and Verve. Businesses leverage this to offer customers locally relevant and international payment options.

Tingg is a convenient one-stop, multi-country payments gateway that allows businesses to collect and make payments seamlessly with three leading solutions: Checkout, Instore Payments and Payouts. The checkout payment solution is for companies that want to collect payments online via their website or mobile app. Global and regional companies such as Kenya Airways, Bolt, and Ethiopia Airlines, and local businesses in Nigeria, such as GIG Logistics and Simba Group, utilise the checkout solution.

Companies such as Chicken Republic, Bazaar Supermarket and Dominos Pizza utilise Tingg’s in-store payment solution that helps them collect digital payments offline. Through in-store, customers make in-person payments quickly and conveniently using QR codes, USSD or a link. Businesses who wish to send money to other companies or individuals utilise the Payouts solution.
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Tingg also facilitates payments into Nigeria, enabling global businesses to payout across multiple regions and currencies. The payouts solution offers cross-border payouts for individuals transferring funds from overseas to bank accounts or mobile money wallets in the country. Also, it allows ride-hailing service companies like Bolt to pay their drivers.

Tingg has the capacity for high transaction volumes, having processed transactions worth $12.8billion in 2022 alone as the payments partner for businesses in various sectors, including e-commerce, retail, remittances, airlines, telecoms, ride-hailing, banks, and FMCGs.

Cellulant: Going forward
Cellulant believes that for businesses to achieve their maximum growth potential, they must access more than just a robust payment solution but also value-added services along the entire value chain, such as access to credit. Soon, Cellulant aims to enhance the capabilities of its payment infrastructure by leveraging embedded finance. By partnering with different financial institutions like banks, insurance companies etc., the company can offer its merchants a wider variety of options. They are particularly looking to introduce a merchant lending solution to offer working capital to businesses.

The possibilities for Nigerian businesses are endless, with the cashless policy already transforming the country’s economy. Companies simply need to position themselves with a comprehensive payments partner to reap the vast benefits of a cashless economy.
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