CBN, banks tasked on good policies to sustain ePayment post-COVID-19
To sustain the momentum around electronic payment (ePayment) systems in Nigeria post-COVID-19, good policies that drive value for customers must be implemented by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), commercial banks, and financial technology (Fintech) companies.
Although the system struggles to remain efficient due to obvious challenges, a turnaround policy is said to be critical, going forward.
The Founder and Group Chief ExecutiveOfficer, Interswitch, Mitchell Elegbe, who tasked the CBN, banks and Fintechs, at the 14th yearly Nigerian Bar Association’s Section on Business Law (NBA-SBL), tagged, “Business Unusual: Digital Acceleration for Growth in a New World,” acknowledged the increase in the adoption of digital payment over the past months.
Elegbe explained the need for the payment industry and regulators to build on the momentum gained via electronic payment, noting that the fear of contracting the coronavirus is the primary reason consumers are adopting electronic payment.
He, however, reiterated that to optimize this temporary adjustment, stakeholders within the sector must address the fundamental issues that affect the consumers, instead of relying on the ‘fear factor’ to sustain the adoption of electronic payment among Nigerians.
He said: “COVID-19 may have necessitated consumers to adopt electronic payments for the first time, but as the impact of the virus wears off eventually, it is important for the benefits derived during this period to be sustained. The industry stakeholders, including service providers such as Interswitch Group, banks and regulators, must put a lot more effort in establishing the right policy framework that will drive increased adoption of electronic payment, as relying on just the fear of COVID-19, will leave us at the losing end.”
Elegbe at the conference, which had in attendance the Governors of Lagos and Oyo states, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, and Seyi Makinde; Chief Justice of Nigeria, Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad; President of the Nigeria Bar Association, Paul Usoro; and William “MO” Cowan, a former United States Senator, also spoke on the impact of the virus on businesses.
He urged companies that have been adversely affected by the impact of coronavirus to form strategic alliances with other companies to remain in business.
Meanwhile, one of the infrastructures needed to boost ePayment and other services, broadband, will be the subject of discussion when the industry gathers on August 6, virtually.
Hosted by the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria(ATCON), the Sectoral Virtual Forum, will address the need of telecom and ICTconsumers in the COVID-19 and post-COVID-19 pandemic in a digital economy era with the principal goal of meeting the new broadband target of 70 per cent.
According to its Executive Secretary, Ajibola Olude, this time around, ATCONis providing a veritable platform for governments, consumers (corporate and personal), and telecommunications and ICT companies to rob minds on how consumers can be better off in terms of effective delivery of ICT services and products in Nigeria.
Olude noted that the centrality of consumers to the projected growth of the Nigerian telecoms and ICT cannot be overlooked in the area of the needed investment to accelerate the progress of the sector.
He pointed out that with the emergence of a digital economy in Nigeria, coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic; many economic transactions would be done digitally, going forward.
He also informed that the Minister for Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, has confirmed his availability as the keynote speaker.
Other agency chiefs including the executive vice Chairman/CEO, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof Umar GarbaDanbatta, and Director-General, National Information Technology DevelopmentAgency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, would constitute the panellists from the government establishments and will make presentations on the theme as concerns consumers.
The strategic objective of the forum, according to Olude, is to harness regulators’ interests, to ensure a competitive telecom market and fast track its development.
It will also protect operators’interests by providing an enabling environment for businesses and protection of investment; and satisfy consumer’s interests in terms of quality of services, affordability, and access for digital economy development.
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