How additional payment channels contribute to growing African Businesses (II)


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How additional payment channels contribute to growing African Businesses (II)

digital , 14-10-2019

This week, we continue from where we left last week on the impact of additional payment channels to growing African businesses.

African societies rely heavily on cash. From a customer standpoint, cash is considered to be a safe way to pay because it is tangible and palpable. The issue with cash is traceability, accountability, and even falsification. Beyond these, excess cash can lead to other issues such as inflation. With digital payments, these excesses are limited and payments are traceable. Digital and mobile currencies are becoming an alternative to the traditional cash economy. Cashless, or cash-light systems have the potential to do in the payment space what Voice-over-IP companies, such as whatsapp, have done with landline phone services. This evolution in the way people pay is positive for the economy and for innovation in Africa. 

According to data, in 2018 Ghanaian Mobile sector report by Jumia, 29 million Ghanaians used 34 million mobile phones, a clear indication that there are already more mobile devices than people. This is a general trend across Africa, the technology divide is still present, but access to mobile devices is increasing, prompting customers to use USSD, mobile money platforms, and payment aggregators such as Slydepay. Businesses have to put themselves in position to accept these payments to grow.

Hospitals, insurance companies, schools and many other businesses across industries are making payments easier for their members and customers. Customers are increasingly demanding more payment options from their merchants. Point of sales that accept digital and mobile money payments are increasing in Ghana, unfortunately, merchants have not fully adopted cashless systems and tend toward adding extra payment channels, which creates even more accounting silos. Adding all channels of payments with an aggregator, like Billbox, is convenient for both customers and financial teams. Additionally this opens up the business to accept more payments from a broader customer base.

Soon in Africa, no customer will accept that a business asks them to leave their place of business to go and withdraw cash to pay for a good or service.