Following the outbreak of COVID-19, more Nigerians have embraced electronic payments as a means of avoiding physical contact around cash handling. For this momentum to be sustained after the pandemic, good policies that drive value for customers must be implemented by the Apex bank, commercial banks and Fintech companies.
This was the view of Interswitch’s Founder and Group Chief Executive Officer, Mitchell Elegbe while speaking at the 14th Annual Nigerian Bar Association’s Section on Business Law (NBA-SBL) tagged “Business Unusual: Digital acceleration for growth in a new world”. The two-day e-conference, which held from Thursday July 16 to Friday July 17, 2020, was the Association’s first electronic conference.
Acknowledging the increase in the adoption of digital payment over the past months, the Founder of the leading Pan-African electronic payment and digital commerce company, explained the need for the payment industry and regulators to build on the momentum gained via electronic payment.
Mr. Elegbe explained that the fear of contracting the coronavirus is the primary reason consumers are adopting electronic payment. He however reiterated that to optimize this temporary adjustment, stakeholders within the sector must address the fundamental issues that affect the consumers, instead of relying on the ‘fear factor’ to sustain the adoption of electronic payment among Nigerians.
He said: “COVID-19 may have necessitated consumers to adopt electronic payments for the first time but as the impact of the virus wears off eventually, it is important for the benefits derived during this period to be sustained. The industry stakeholders, including service providers such as Interswitch Group, banks and regulators, must put a lot more effort in establishing the right policy framework that will drive increasing adoption of electronic payment. Relying on just the fear of COVID-19, will leave us at the losing end.”
Elegbe also spoke on the impact of the virus on businesses. He urged companies that have been adversely affected by the impact of coronavirus to form strategic alliances with other companies in order to continue in business.
The Annual Business Law Conference is an event where business lawyers, stakeholders and experts from Nigeria and overseas come together to discuss salient issues and proffer solutions. The two-day event ended with an e-party where participants were thrilled with music and games. Among those in attendance were Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Governor of Lagos State; Seyi Makinde, Governor of Oyo State; Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad, Chief Justice of Nigeria; Paul Usoro, President of the Nigeria Bar Association and William “MO” Cowan, a former United States Senator.