BY: ONOME AMUGE
First Bank of Nigeria, continuing its goal of promoting the sustainability and viability of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs), recently convened its SMEConnect webinar themed, “Leveraging Alternative Payment Methods (APMs) to drive revenue for your business.”
The webinar, which updated businesses with current technologies as they concern payments, further demonstrated how the adoption of alternative payment methods can play an integral role in driving revenue growth.
In his presentation, Jeffrey Williams-Edem, group business head, merchant acquiring, Interswitch Group, spoke on how the adoption of alternative payment methods play an integral role in driving revenue growth for business.
Emphasising the benefits of APMs, Williams-Edem said it increases the average basket size of SMEs as the system offers customers more than one option to complete transactions; reduce churn rate and drop offs which impact sales revenue; improves service delivery, and encourages repeat business as a customer whose choice of payment is gratified will be encouraged to continue patronising a business.
He further noted that APMs help business owners digitise transactions, thereby giving them access to financial services and better reporting that enables faster and informed business decisions, while also making businesses more competitive through increased customer patronage.
Kolawole Ogunmekan, head, digital innovation lab, e-business & retail products, First Bank, who spoke on the topic, “Alternative Payment Methods: Key to Driving Increase Revenue”, described APMs as any form of payment that is not carried out using cash or any major international debit or credit card brand like Visa Mastercard, Discover, Amex.
According to Ogunmekan, customers need a frictionless payment experience especially for e-commerce transactions to aid seamless checkout, a unique functionality of APMs which provide an array of transaction options including; digital wallets, mobile payments, bank transfers, Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL), QR payments, etc.
Highlighting factors to consider when choosing an APM, he advised business owners to invest in a solution that aligns with customer preference and lifestyle. He also laid emphasis on choosing APMs that focus on frictionless customer convenience, and offer security features such as fraud protection and encryption to ensure safety of both customer and business data.
To ensure transparent pricing, he advised SMEs to understand the associated fees before choosing payment methods.
Ogunmekan listed the various alternative methods offering by First Bank through which customers can leverage their businesses to generate revenue to include:
Wallet as a service- FirstBank’s application programming interface (API) solution that provides payment with wallet as a service.
Pay with bank account: A payment service that allows customer pay directly from their bank accounts;
Pay with QR: Mobile solution that allows customers to scan a QR code to effect payments;
Firstchekout: A checkout service that facilitates e-commerce transactions;
Mobile contactless payment- Payment with smartphone leveraging NFC capability of the phone;
Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL)- A finance model that allows users purchase items and pay in instalments;
Pay with USSD- Payments made using the bank’s customised USSD strings;
Prepaid card-Pre-funded virtual card for online payments.