- Nigeria’s Evolving E-commerce and Diversification Drive
Electronic commerce, commonly called e-commerce, is the trading or facilitation of trading in products or services using computer networks, such as the Internet or online social networks.
It has been a strong catalyst for economic development in Nigeria- led to the creation of jobs; boosted productivity; hugely reduced the cost of doing business; and provided access to new markets.
For consumers, it has made more goods available at competitive prices, leading to significant gains in the general standard of living. It has also added convenience, because a click of the button in the comfort of the bedroom will cause a delivery at the doorstep. Yet, many others have benefitted from the initiative.
Of course, the Deposit Money Banks have played an essential supporting role in the country’s burgeoning e-commerce industry, which has indeed been the toast of both local and foreign investment.
It has helped local technology companies thrive, as well as enabled global technology players from Silicon Valley to Europe looking to capitalise on Nigeria’s large population and its potential as a hub on the African continent, to successfully operate.
The contribution of the banking sector to e-commerce has taken several forms. Firstly, as financial institutions, they have provided the technology infrastructure critical to the flow of payments to and from the agents participating in e-commerce.
The backbone of e-commerce is payments, and as e-commerce continues to grow, and online transactions soar, users should rely more on the robustness, security and convenience that this financial infrastructure provides. E-commerce is only able to grow when ease, convenience, and security is ensured.
Due to the efforts of deposit money banks in ensuring safety and trust, the inhibitive fear customers have in conducting online transactions has been significantly allayed, leading to the inclusion of more users and the expansion of the e-commerce ecosystem.
Promotion of activities
Additionally, deposit money banks have supported organisations in leveraging e-commerce technology to engage with their customers. Stemming from their industry experience, banks have assisted businesses in adopting e-commerce in their delivery of goods and services, especially in setting up the infrastructure and payment capabilities for them to successfully engage in e-commerce, thereby enabling such clients receive payments efficiently for the goods and services they offer.
Due to this vital support, customers are conveniently able to pay for services such as electricity and water bills, Internet and cable subscriptions; airline and cinema tickets; even financial services like insurance and payment of taxes from the comfort of their homes.
Some of the benefits that businesses have gained from implementation of e-commerce are increased revenue as they are better able to reach more customers, achieve higher customer satisfaction, cost reduction, and overall improvement in efficiency.
Deposit money banks have contributed to the growth of e-commerce by gradually pulling customers away from offline branch banking onto online banking, which includes e-payments and mobile transfers. By encouraging the use of payment technologies, and offering more of their products digitally, banks are discouraging customers from standing in long queues, thereby ensuring their convenience.
Apart from the infrastructural role that banks have had to play in the sector, they have also continued to provide their traditional services to players in the sector such as financing support to e-commerce enterprises in the form of working capital, financing for expansion, among others.
Some of the higher profile funding support includes Access bank’s assistance to Uber’s expansion drive in Nigeria. Access bank established a financing scheme in conjunction with KIA motors and Hyundai to grow Uber’s footprint by increasing its drivers by as much as fivefold. First bank also pushed this drive forward by helping drivers acquire used cars at relatively low interest rates.
Jumia Nigeria also partnered with First bank to set up a consumer finance scheme, where customers can purchase items on credit from the online retailer through a First Bank Naira Credit Card.
Konga likewise partnered with One credit, a Nigerian micro-finance bank to launch the “Buy Now Pay Later” scheme, an affordable consumer credit facility that enables customers pay for online purchases in equal monthly installments.
GT Bank also recently launched “The SME MarketHub”; an e-commerce portal for Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs). The portal is designed to enable Nigerian entrepreneurs migrate their businesses online and take advantage of the vast international and local sales opportunities within this space.
Fidelity Bank also recently launched The Fidelity GreenMall, an online marketplace with fully integrated e-commerce capabilities for online payments, delivery logistics, advertising, and business networking opportunities, amongst others.
Deposit money banks have been greatly instrumental in enhancing financial inclusion in the economy. With the use of internet enabled mobile phones and SMS (leveraging the telecoms sector), mobile devices are increasingly being used for financial services in Nigeria, thereby making it possible for customers to conduct financial transactions using these channels.
As more bank customers become financially included and access banking products through digital and mobile platforms, they become more amenable to e-commerce, thereby expanding it further.
• This article, written by the Bankers Committee of Nigeria, is the fifth in a series, focused on raising awareness around Nigerian banks’ efforts and most importantly educating the public on opportunities available to them to foster their active participation in our nation’s diversification efforts.
Communities in Delta State Shut OML30 Operates by Heritage Energy Operational Services Ltd
The OML30 operated by Heritage Energy Operational Services Limited in Delta State has been shut down by the host communities for failing to meet its obligations to the 112 host communities.
The host communities, led by its Management Committee/President Generals, had accused the company of gross indifference and failure in its obligations to the host communities despite several meetings and calls to ensure a peaceful resolution.
The station with a production capacity of 80,000 barrels per day and eight flow stations operates within the Ughelli area of Delta State.
The host communities specifically accused HEOSL of failure to pay the GMOU fund for the last two years despite mediation by the Delta State Government on May 18, 2020.
Also, the host communities accused HEOSL of ‘total stoppage of scholarship award and payment to host communities since 2016’.
The Chairman, Dr Harrison Oboghor and Secretary, Mr Ibuje Joseph that led the OML30 host communities explained to journalists on Monday that the host communities had resolved not to backpedal until all their demands were met.
Crude Oil Recovers from 4 Percent Decline as Joe Biden Wins
Oil Prices Recover from 4 Percent Decline as Joe Biden Wins
Crude oil prices rose with other financial markets on Monday following a 4 percent decline on Friday.
This was after Joe Biden, the former Vice-President and now the President-elect won the race to the White House.
Global benchmark oil, Brent crude oil, gained $1.06 or 2.7 percent to $40.51 per barrel on Monday while the U.S West Texas Intermediate crude oil gained $1.07 or 2.9 percent to $38.21 per barrel.
On Friday, Brent crude oil declined by 4 percent as global uncertainty surged amid unclear US election and a series of negative comments from President Trump. However, on Saturday when it became clear that Joe Biden has won, global financial markets rebounded in anticipation of additional stimulus given Biden’s position on economic growth and recovery.
“Trading this morning has a risk-on flavor, reflecting increasing confidence that Joe Biden will occupy the White House, but the Republican Party will retain control of the Senate,” Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney.
“The outcome is ideal from a market point of view. Neither party controls the Congress, so both trade wars and higher taxes are largely off the agenda.”
The president-elect and his team are now working on mitigating the risk of COVID-19, grow the world’s largest economy by protecting small businesses and the middle class that is the backbone of the American economy.
“There will be some repercussions further down the road,” said OCBC’s economist Howie Lee, raising the possibility of lockdowns in the United States under Biden.
“Either you’re crimping energy demand or consumption behavior.”
Nigeria, Other OPEC Members Oil Revenue to Hit 18 Year Low in 2020
Revenue of OPEC Members to Drop to 18 Year Low in 2020
The United States Energy Information Administration (EIA) has predicted that the oil revenue of members of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will decline to 18-year low in 2020.
EIA said their combined oil export revenue will plunge to its lowest level since 2002. It proceeded to put a value to the projection by saying members of the oil cartel would earn around $323 billion in net oil export in 2020.
“If realised, this forecast revenue would be the lowest in 18 years. Lower crude oil prices and lower export volumes drive this expected decrease in export revenues,” it said.
The oil expert based its projection on weak global oil demand and low oil prices because of COVID-19.
It said this coupled with production cuts by OPEC members in recent months will impact net revenue of the cartel in 2020.
It said, “OPEC earned an estimated $595bn in net oil export revenues in 2019, less than half of the estimated record high of $1.2tn, which was earned in 2012.
“Continued declines in revenue in 2020 could be detrimental to member countries’ fiscal budgets, which rely heavily on revenues from oil sales to import goods, fund social programmes, and support public services.”
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