By Olabisi Olaleye
With over 35 million registered Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the country, the duo of Diamond Bank and Microsoft are set to empower the SMEs growth in Nigeria, through the Diamond Mobile Point of Sales (MPoS).
Speaking during a one-day workshop receently on improving business productivity among SMEs, both organisations gave assurance that they would accelerate SME business via providing the right technology tools that would empower their businesses in today’s digital world.
According to the. Head, Emerging Business, Diamond Bank, Njideka Esomeju, Diamond MPoS solution would enhance business productivity among SMEs in the country.
Said She: “We need to get SMEs to move online, which is the next level of business, and to learn how to maximise the use of their computers to improve their business efficiency. At Diamond Bank, our slogan is ‘Beyond Banking’ and we have fully gone beyond the initial ways where customers had to go into the banking hall to deposit, withdraw or transact some forms businesses. We have introduced solutions that empower small businesses to move to the next level, which is about leveraging technology for business efficiency”.
The MPoS could be operated offline and online, with and without connectivity. If there is difficulty in internet connectivity, the MPoS would record transactions, store and later drop when connectivity is restored, and there is no limit to the daily amount of financial transactions that could be carried out by SMEs on the MPoS.
On reasons for the Microsoft’s collaboration, she explained that business solution would further enhance SME business.
“The Microsoft solution will enhance communication among SME staff. We are also partnering Enterprise Development Centre (EDC) because they also support SMEs”.
Explaining how the solution could be used, Gideon Akpebu said “the MPoS is a smart reader that works with mobile phones. It is unique because it differs from other PoS in terms of size, as it comes very handy, and can accept payment for business transactions from any part of the country and at any time. It takes record of daily transactions and issues receipt for each transaction. According to him, all that the SME need do is to download the app from Play Store, pair it with a mobile phone via Bluetooth and activate it for usage.
Marketing and Communications Lead, Microsoft Nigeria, Edmond Idokoko, while speaking on the value that Microsoft brings to SMEs, explained that Microsoft mantra is to enable individuals and organisations achieve more in the business by leveraging Microsoft technology solutions.
“We are bringing value to SMEs by collaborating with Diamond Bank on SME growth. For instance we are offering our Office 365 technology solution free of charge to SMEs for a period of six months, after which the SME can begin monthly subscription on the solution. We are using Nigeria as a pilot market, from where we will move to other regions and countries to also support SMEs. The focus is on Nigeria because Nigeria falls within the emerging market. Again, Nigeria is a strategic market for Microsoft, because of its large population size, as well as the important role it plays in the African market,” Idokoko said.
Speaking on the impact of Microsoft solution on SMEs busyness, Idokoko said “SMEs are challenged by a number of things, which ranges from environmental factors to funding and access to funding and technology solutions. So Microsoft can enable SMEs to overcome most of their challenges. The technology solution that we are offering SMEs for free will actually help them grow their business and have enough capital base to begin business expansion, thereby creating job opportunities for people.”
According to him, the Office 365 solution for small businesses, would no doubt enhance business growth among SMEs. It comes with features like Microsoft word, Power Point, Excel, Communication App, among others.
Online firm to leverage on zero gravity performance
In a bid to mark her first anniversary of entrance into the Nigerian e-commerce sector, management of Yudala, Africa’s composite e-commerce outfit, has inaugurated a mega-concert tagged Zero Gravity to appreciate its teeming customers an unforgettable experience for its numerous customers and other prospective participants.
The events would have six shows in all; two each in three states: Lagos, Enugu and Port Harcourt.
According to the company during a media briefing ,Yudala made a grand entry into the e-commerce sector late last year, breaking all existing records in the process and setting new standards with several innovative strategies including the first drone delivery in the e-commerce world, launch of same day delivery on a nationwide scale.
“It pioneered the offline and online Black Friday sales as well as a slew of other exciting marketing campaigns such as Neighbour to Neighbour Mega Deals, Mid-Day Madness, Yu-Jara and Mobile Monday, among others, through which it has offered the consumer more value-added options”.
Speaking, Founder/Vice President, Prince Nnamdi Ekeh: “For every purchase made from any of our platforms from August 1st, shoppers will earn points and once they reach the purchase threshold for attendance, a notification will be sent informing them of this development. The customer will then get a chance to select his or her preferred city or cities of attendance. Also, customers will be upgraded to VIP or VVIP status based on further purchases which may take them to the threshold for these categories,” he disclosed.
Telecoms consumers task NCC on better regulation, service delivery
By Sampson Unamka
Consumers of telecommunication services in the country have urged the telecom umpire , the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC), to ease their pains by reducing unsolicited short messaging services over and the industry.
The consumers who spoke during the Commission’s 20th edition Town Hall Meeting (CTM) in Ajah,Lagos, noted that the regulator has a long way to go in enforcing effective services.
According to the Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau, Abdullahi Maikano, while giving his welcome address, it was necessary to bring together consumers and service providers and strengthen the communication industry.
“This programme educates telecom consumers and other stakeholders on contemporary issues generating interest in the industry and that is one of the reasons the commission is committed in ensuring a balance forum”.
Maikano further explained that the topic was carefully chosen to reflect one of the cardinal objectives of the NCC of ensuring the protection of telecom consumers from market exploitation and empowering them make rational and informed decision when making their choices of services.
The event was tagged ‘Information and Education as a Catalyst for Consumer Protection’.
“Consumer education is identified by the commission as one of the most cost effective mechanism that provides and guarantees consumer protection. Besides, serving a proactive way of protecting consumers from making wrong choces, it also serves as a preventive measure that presents consumers from being exploited and against fraud”, said Maikano.
New app targets over 100 billion social media financial users
More than 100 billion daily active users on the social media including Facebook, twitter, WeChat, Skype and instagram can now experience faster way of performing financial transactions directly from these platforms with the aid of the recently introduced solution, ChatPay.
According to the organiser, the app is a major leap in innovative banking solutions, which allows everyone with a social media account to conduct various transactions from the comfort of their homes, offices or wherever.
During his presentation at the launch of the e-banking app platform in Lagos at the weekend, the ChatPay Evangelist, Mr. Gbenga Adams described the platform as a fusion of advancement in robotics and artificial intelligence to create a unique and very personal experience in managing finances.
“This is uniquely different from almost similar applications, ChatPay is built on the artificial intelligencetructure which allows it engage users intelligently directly from their social media channels.
“With ChatPay, Nigerians now have the opportunity to perform various transactions ranging from funds transfer, airtime purchase, bill payment, location of Automated Teller Machine (ATM) nearby, purchase of cinema tickets as well as viewing movie listings and trailers, all with the assistance of ChatPay.”
Smile offers better broadband service
In continuation of the series of innovative products designed to offer its subscribers unbeatable value, Smile Nigeria has unveiled the Unlimited Premium Plan. This latest innovation is coming on the heels of the company’s recent introduction of the Lowest 4G LTE Call Rate in the Nigerian market. The UnlimitedPremium Plan gives customers InternetFreedom where they can download unlimited movies, watch unlimited videos, play unlimited games online and enjoy unlimited social media presence.
A statement issued by the company disclosed that existing customers using the current unlimited plan would be automatically upgraded to unlimited premium to immediately benefit from this new innovation. All existing Smile customers can recharge online with express recharge and pay with their credit card. They can also recharge via MySmile and pay via approved third party payment channels or at any of the numerous Smile touch points. On their part, new customers can order UnlimitedPremium plus SMiFi or UnlimitedPremium plus Router online and pay with their credit card for delivery to their doorsteps. Alternatively, they can visit any Smile outlet where they are assured of best in class customer service.