The COVID-19 pandemic might have significantly changed consumer behaviour to favour online payments, but there is a still a lot of work to do to get more people onboard, executives of Flutterwave, a Nigerian-owned payments processing company have said.
This assertion was made when executives of Flutterwave answered questions fielded by Business A.M in a recent interview.
“The significant shift to remote work, online shopping and digital payments are all effects of the pandemic. We prefer to look at the situation from the perspective of where we are coming from and where we are going. We are coming from a society where cash is a dominant means of payment. The pandemic may have significantly changed consumer behaviour but there is still more work to do,” the company’s executives said.
They noted that although the COVID-19 pandemic helped boost the chances of more Nigerians getting on board with digital payments, cash is still the major means of payment in the country.
“Online payments will continue to grow in Nigeria. However, at the moment, cash is still king. As we continue to put in the required work, more people will adopt digital payments for their businesses and customers will be more willing to make their transactions online. The pandemic increased the chances of Nigeria getting to this destination faster than ever. But the digital payments and fintech ecosystem need to put in more work to realise this,” they said.
Speaking on Nigerian businesses sentiments about online payments, the executives said that there was a general positive sentiment about integrating online payments into business strategies, but they said that the pandemic helped fast-track the adoption of online payment integration.
According to them: “For many businesses, online payments were not at the top of their priority list, but the pandemic made it the only option. It is an on-going process and more people are discovering the endless possibilities involved in being a part of the digital payments community. Consumers have also had a significant change in behaviour with more people being comfortable ordering things online.”
The Flutterwave top executives said that the two biggest drivers of digital payments adoption in Nigeria are trust and mobile penetration. They stated that mobile penetration needs to be enhanced for digital payments adoption to grow and for more people to become a part of the digital economy.
On the issue of trust, they said, “There should be innovation allaying the fears of people and nurturing them into the global ecosystem where everything is indeed possible. For us, we are addressing this issue of trust from a human perspective. We are reaching out to people in different ways and showing them that other businesses trust us and we have not failed them. So, they should trust us.”