As an IT firm, how has it been all these years?
Being an indigenous IT firm that has being in existence before the information technology (IT) industry became fully grown, I must say that it has being tough. Getting good resource and trying to build products that are worthy of the tech space in the world at large wasn’t easy to crack. It has gotten easier over the years and it can only get better, IT is here to stay and here to rule.
What are the core areas of IT you are into?
We are a financial technology company with solutions tailored to solve financial problems with IT. E-Settlement Limited is an independent, private sector led, limited liability company located in Lagos, Nigeria focused on providing Innovative, Dependable, Easy-to-use, Affordable and Secure payment solutions to everyday financial problems in Africa.
As a fintech, do you think that Nigerian Fintech space has matured?
Definitely, there are more players in the space as opposed to what it was 7 years ago. S from this analysis we can say that we are maturing and one of the most robust markets in Africa. But that doesn’t mean that we have arrived, there are rooms for improvements, improvements in the areas of deepening financial inclusion, making electronic payment easier and more convenient for Nigerians. I think we are growing as a nation and our market is robust.
Do you think that USSD is the best way to go?
USSD is a worthy alternative. Due to our ecosystem, I am not sure there is just one way to go for payments. All the options are necessary, online, offline, card present and card not present. Having all the options makes one ready for all circumstances that might occur. So, USSD has their roles to play and a niche they serve, but telling you that USSD is the best is far from it, it is good and other forms of electronic payments are also good.
Agency Banking is the norm today but with attendance security challenges, do you think that it is the best way?
Insecurity is a general issue; I like to think agency banking helps protect funds in a way. People in underbanked areas won’t need to travel with large amount of cash since there would be a PayCentre agent that they can get cash from once they reach their destination. Agency banking is not the cause of insecurity but it is helping to curb it in its own way.
Paycentre is a financial inclusion solution that provides some banking hall services outside of the brick bank especially in underserved and unbanked communities. Paycentre also aims to be a lifestyle solution with bill payment features ranging from airtime, to cable and also electricity. Paycentre aims to provide everyday needs for funds without you having to visit a bank.
Tell us about your PayCentre solution?
Paycentre is a financial inclusion solution that provides some banking hall services outside of the brick bank especially in underserved and unbanked communities. Paycentre also aims to be a lifestyle solution with bill payment features ranging from airtime, to cable and also electricity. Paycentre aims to provide everyday needs for funds without you having to visit a bank. The PayCentre Web and Mobile app grants you the freedom to receive and provide banking hall services by offering you the best agency banking solution in Africa.Our easy-to-use platform grants you total control and insight into your business performance.
You also have PAYPAD, how is it different from PAYCENTRE solution?
The paypad is a merchant solution and is only card present. It is your regular POS but ours is mPOS where the merchant/shop owner has an application and can input the cost of the item bought on the app and the mPOS serves as a card reader. Interesting fact, Paycentre was born out of the Paypad solution. PAYPAD is an mPOS solution that enables businesses receive payments via a smart phone. PayPad grants its users access to functions such as E-marketing, smart printing, sales analytics, payment acceptance, seamless integration, multi-location support, invoice & order issuance.
With the volume of electronic transactions today in the country especially in big cities like Lagos, PH, Abuja and maybe Onitsha, what are you doing to drive your solutions to other parts of the country?
This year we are making data targeted decisions and going actively after areas that we have relatively low agents in. This way we are able to think of creative ways to gain more agents in that area. These markets are critical to us as a firm and we are focusing towards that market.
Are we expecting to see more agents and franchises from you this year?
Ohh yes, Definitely. That is the new frontiers we are focusing and we hope to increase our agents and presence around the country. On the engagement with our agents in the rural areas, we are constantly engaging our agents who in turn refer us to another potential agent. Social media like Facebook has also being very helpful. Our strategies are uniquely tailored to fit each region.
Do you feel that the regulator (CBN) is doing enough to protect FinTech’s like yours in the country?
The CBN is regularly evolving and coming up with guidelines and rules to put structure in this market that is constantly growing and changing. CBN is not only protecting us but protecting the end users which are the everyday customer. They have an enormous task at hand and they perform it graciously and even beyond scope. We totally align with their policy directives as a regulator and I must tell you the truth, we commend them for their directives.
Are you looking at ECOWAS market or are you contended with Nigerian ecosystem?
We are definitely looking to expand to other countries in Africa that have these same issues that we experience here in Nigeria. We do not want to be only Nigerian based market. We have that in the plan, we hope t expand to other African countries, but it is one step at a time.
…we are constantly engaging our agents who in turn refer us to another potential agent. Social media like Facebook has also being very helpful. Our strategies are uniquely tailored to fit each region.