By Dipo Olowookere
One of the top lenders in Africa, Ecobank Nigeria, has introduced Africa’s first unified digital payment solution aimed to help business owners grow their customer base.
The new innovation is called Ecobank Pay and is a multi-featured digital payment solution built as a core part of Ecobank’s digital financial services ecosystem approach and will deliver unified and instant self-service across a range of interconnected payment solutions.
It can be used by all businesses from small informal micro merchants to large corporates as well as governments, allowing them to offer easy and convenient payment options to their customers in-store or online.
Ecobank Pay includes a rebrand of the Ecobank Scan+Pay QR offering, which allows customers to pay in-store via the Ecobank mobile app. Merchants can now also speedily sign-up for their QR merchant code via the Masterpass QR for Merchant functionality on Facebook Messenger.
As the Ecobank Pay ecosystem expands, it will unify all of Ecobank’s digital payment offerings for internet payments, eCommerce, paying bills via mobile and airtime top via mobile.
The Ecobank Pay QR offering or Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) will continue to allow customers of any bank in Nigeria or beyond, to make payments for goods and services, using their mobile banking app to Scan+Pay with MasterPass, Visa or mCash as the means of payment.
mCash allows merchants to receive payments from their customers on one single Merchant Terminal ID for both Scan+Pay and USSD through the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) mCash service by dialling *402#.
For Ecobank Pay Scan+Pay (via MasterPass and Visa) as well as USSD, merchants will receive instant credit on their account with Ecobank. This digital payment solution is targeted at small informal micro merchants, registered small and medium size merchant businesses, corporate and institutional merchants operating in-store or online, as well utilising the social media platform of Facebook Messenger to sign up for QR technology.
“Ecobank is committed to simplifying doing business for the people it serves, and Ecobank Pay is a payment solution channel that will make payments easier, faster, convenient and more secure,” commented Mr Charles Kie, Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria.
“As an enhanced payment platform, it will make business cash flow easier to manage and will help to grow sales as it accepts payment from any mobile phone user at anytime and anywhere, whilst improving both convenience and the client experience. It has no initial transaction charges and is a cost-effective alternative to POS terminals as payments are directly authenticated, pushed and approved by the customers buying the goods or services, therefore limiting the risk of chargebacks or disputes.”
The clear advantages of Ecobank Pay is that everyone can use it regardless of size, and the value it brings through the digital QR code technology that will enable businesses to access more financial services and grow.
Mr Patrick Akinwuntan, Group Executive, Consumer Banking, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated, says: “The merchant receives instant credit for all transactions as opposed to the current transaction day plus one (T+1) of a POS transaction. Customers can make payment from any type of mobile phone and notification is provided through SMS, the merchant app and the merchant portal. Ecobank Pay is an innovative, cost-effective and convenient digital payment solution that will enable businesses to enjoy quick settlement, grow sales, increase customer loyalty and make it easier for them to expand into new markets.”
Mr Akintwuntan called on businesses and organisations to embrace cashless payments and calls on religious organisations, government agencies, transport companies, telecom service providers, agency banking service providers, financial payment facilitators, the hospitality, leisure and entertainment sector, e-Commerce and utility companies and all others to harness the opportunities and advantages of solutions like Ecobank Pay, which will move Nigeria and Africa into a more cashless and financially inclusive society. These, and many other business sectors, can embrace the convenience, speed and security of Ecobank’s innovative digital payment solutions.
Stanbic IBTC Bank Offers Clinics, Labs N1.5bn Interest-free Loans
By Dipo Olowookere
Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc has partnered with ISN Medical, a healthcare-focused company, to make procurement of medical diagnostic and healthcare products in Nigeria easier for practitioners.
ISN Medical is a leading supplier of medical diagnostic products and services in Nigeria, with over 40 years of operations.
Stanbic IBTC Bank, a subsidiary of Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc, as part of its efforts to further strengthen the system and give Nigerians access to quality and affordable healthcare, has created N1.5 billion interest-free loans to clinics, medical laboratories, diagnostic centres, and other healthcare providers for the procurement of medical diagnostic and healthcare products.
“We are happy to be part of this partnership. We believe that there are several benefits that both parties can derive from this collaboration.
“The loan facilities will go a long way in enabling healthcare providers to have access to up to N1.5 billion in medical equipment finance.
“We believe that our goal of enabling healthcare providers easy access to finance is achievable, especially through ISN Medical, a foremost supplier of medical diagnostic products and services in the country,” the CEO of Stanbic IBTC Bank, Mr Wole Adeniyi, said.
Business Post gathered that the N1.5 billion credit facility is part of the N10.2 billion provided by the lender to boost the country’s healthcare system in fulfilment of its corporate social investment initiative pillars in education, economic empowerment and health.
Recall that in 2021, the bank provided a N6.7 billion loan facility for the building of BAZE University Private Teaching Hospital in Abuja and then created a N2 billion special fund for healthcare providers to buy equipment and improve health care delivery.
Mr Adeniyi promised that Stanbic IBTC Bank would continue to engage in strategic partnerships that would be of great benefit to Nigerians seeking to access affordable and quality healthcare in addition to growing the health sector of the country.
Elendu Seeks Adoption of Blockchain for Dispute Resolution in Banks
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The co-founder and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Appzone, Mr Uche Elendu, has called for the adoption of blockchain technology for dispute resolution in banks.
According to him, financial institutions and their customers cannot do without having issues, especially with the increased rate of fraud in the financial system, but technology can be deployed to make the resolution process seamless.
Mr Elendu, while sharing his thoughts during his presentation at the Digital Pay Expo summit, submitted that blockchain technology will not only decentralise the process of moving money from one bank to the other but will help increase the level of visibility and transparency of the procedure.
At the two-day event sponsored by Appzone and put in place to discuss the possibility of accessing finance without a third party across the African continent through Decentralized Finance (DeFi), he said, “Financial institutions across the continent have continued to evolve, leveraging technology.”
“They have metamorphosed from the days of a heavy analogue process to a more digitized era, and with the continuous increase in the volume of banking transactions, it remains pertinent to continuously adopt newer and more sophisticated technology infrastructure to remain dependable, especially with payment settlements.
“For us at Appzone, we are firm believers in blockchain technology. Its decentralized nature not only makes it faster, cheaper, and transparent but also makes it sophisticated enough to enable real-time settlement,” he added.
Speaking further, Mr Ulendu said, “Having rolled out Zone, Africa’s first blockchain platform for payment processing in 2021, partner banks who have onboarded with us have seen a drastic change in their payment settlement process.
“Zone’s innovative architecture will reduce complaints from customers and provide banks with an opportunity to deliver delightful experiences on payment channels while also driving down costs.”
Developed in line with Appzone’s recent evolution into a payment infrastructure company, Zone is Africa’s first decentralized payment network that allows inter-bank transactions to be processed directly between banks on the Blockchain without the involvement of any intermediary.
With Zone, players in the industry should expect a reliable and scalable payment network that enables frictionless and instant payments, within and between every African country.
As more Nigerians get financially included, customers have continued to move away from cash and checks toward electronic payments.
This trend is a positive development for banks and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN); however, as card and online transactions grow, so does the number of disputable transactions and the incidence of fraud, putting pressure on dispute processes.
Ecobank Offers Mouth-watering Cash Gifts in Super Rewards Season 3
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The third season of a loyalty reward programme for customers designed by Ecobank Nigeria Limited has commenced and for two months, 100 customers will win N50,000 monthly.
The customer-focused initiative called Super Rewards Campaign, according to a statement from the company, will run from June 20, 2022, to August 21, 2022.
It was disclosed that two customers will also go home with N1 million each at the end of the season, with participation open to both new and existing individual customers of the bank.
The Head of Consumer Banking at Ecobank Nigeria, Mrs Korede Demola-Adeniyi, advised residents of Nigeria to “open an account with us or reactivate and fund your dormant account.”
“The Super Reward campaign, which was initiated by Ecobank in March 2021, is designed to promote a healthy savings culture amongst Nigerians and reward customers’ loyalty to the Ecobank brand.
“The success of season 1 and 2 campaigns followed by customers’ demand led to the introduction of Season 3. Both Seasons 1 and 2 have produced a total of 8 Millionaires and 1600 customers being rewarded N25,000 weekly in batches of fifty per week,”. she stated.
Speaking on the dynamics of the campaign, the Head of Consumer Products at Ecobank Nigeria, Ms Daberechi Effiong, said the conditions to qualify for the campaign are simple and easy to ensure both new and existing customers participate and get rewarded.
According to her, “New customers only need to open an account with a minimum of N5,000 while existing customers should make minimum deposits of N5,000. Customers with dormant accounts will also qualify when they reactivate and fund their accounts with a minimum of N5,000.”
“Rewards will be done monthly for the 2 months starting from July, 100 customers will be rewarded with N50,000 monthly. There will be two grand prize rewards of N1 million each at the end of the campaign,” Ms Effiong stated, enjoining those that are yet to open an account with the bank to do so to enjoy the benefits of the lender’s bouquet of products and services.
Ecobank Nigeria is a subsidiary of the Ecobank Group, the leading pan-African banking group with operations in 33 African countries and an international presence in four locations (London, Paris, Beijing, and Dubai).
The financial institution is a major player in the distribution of financial services in Nigeria, leveraging digital platforms including Ecobank Mobile App and USSD *326#, Ecobank Online, Ecobank OmniPlus, Ecobank Omnilite, EcobankPay, Ecobank RapidTransfer, ATMs, POSs and an extensive distribution network of over 250 branches and over 50,000 agency banking locations.
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