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What Nigerian MSMEs must do to thrive in the new normal

With CICOD Suite, businesses can manage a whole database of customers.

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Development Bank of Nigeria , Companies Allied Matters Act (CAMA)

To survive the harsh economic realities of the COVID-19 pandemic, Nigerian businesses have been tasked to embrace digital resources and innovation that will help them thrive in the realities of the new normal.

A leading Lagos-based software innovation company, Crown Interactive led by UK-trained IT Expert, Wumi Oghoetuoma made this known why introducing its digital resources known as CICOD Suite.

This opportunity comes at a time when the CBN recently introduced a N50 billion Targeted Credit Facility (TCF) as a stimulus package to support micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) that have been affected by the pandemic.

According to Crown Interactive, “with the CICOD product, businesses will be more efficient, digital-friendly, and thus, resilient to some of the economic shocks we’re living through today. Currently, CICOD suite of tools is running a free 30day trial period so that for businesses at no cost at www.cicod.com

“The CICOD suite of tools comes with all that businesses need to manage digitally, allowing them to run the shop remotely and enable other people to sell on their behalf, but still leaving them in charge of a centralized hub. Decentralizing by introducing new sales channels – like selling via agents, social media, call-to-shop – makes it more convenient for customers to shop with businesses and effectively, more convenient for them to increase revenues.”

Crown Interactive noted, “For some micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME), reopening means business owners may first have to get rid of the old stock that they have been sitting on during lockdown to make way for the new. With CICOD, businesses can run promotions, apply discounts directly, and track and monitor leftover stock in the inventory, all from the comfort of your home.”

“With CICOD Suite, businesses can manage a whole database of customers and easily text them, send them invoices, and even monitor buying patterns so that they can more suitably fulfill the needs of their clientele. They can even take this further and run a loyalty scheme, to make sure they keep the regulars coming back.”

The organization added, “as the shops open up and customers begin to stroll back in, they need to see that there’s been an upgrade by allowing CICOD bring their businesses into the now. It is not enough for businesses to survive in this period, we want them to thrive in it too. We can equip them with the digital tools that they need to thrive in this period and move to the next level.”

"NM Partners" represent articles published in partnerships with Corporate Organisations, Government and Non-Governmental Institutions, and other stakeholders seeking to publish content on Nairametrics. Content includes Press Releases, Targeted content, and other forms of corporate communications targeted at our readers. Some of these content are paid for.

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CHI Limited celebrates its maiden Hollandia Dairy Day

The Hollandia Dairy Day Conference is a public interest initiative created to highlight the importance of dairy in everyday nutrition and healthy living in Nigeria.

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Nigeria’s leading dairy brand, Hollandia, is set to hold the maiden edition of its Hollandia Dairy Day. The event which will be celebrated on the 18th of May 2021 will provide a veritable platform to drive national discourse on the unrivaled health and nutrition benefits of dairy consumption to people of all ages.

Set to be hosted as a conference, the theme of this year’s event is “Dairy Nourishment to Support Healthy Living”, and it focuses on the vital role dairy consumption plays in our everyday nourishment, its benefit to our overall health, and why dairy products should be included in our diets every day.

This conference, which is designed as a hybrid of physical and virtual event, will feature presentations, interviews and panel discussions from health experts and nutritionists as they provide insights and share perspectives to guide informed decisions about dairy consumption as part of a daily balanced diet. The event is opened to the public through the brand’s multiple social media platforms.

According to a report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 2019, Nigeria has low dairy consumption levels per head – 15 to 20 liters’ per capita consumption. This is partly attributable to low purchasing power of the average Nigerian household, who rank milk and dairy products as non-essential luxuries and prioritize other staple foods such as rice, beans, and yam.

By provoking the conversations and stimulating public action/intervention, Hollandia aims to drive consciousness for dairy consumption and its importance to achieving optimum health, and to get many more Nigerians drinking, using, and consuming dairy products.

The past year has presented unprecedented shocks and disruptions, including a global COVID-19 pandemic. As communities throughout the world look for ways to minimize the risk of COVID-19, maintaining and boosting good health is top of mind for many. Dairy foods such as milk and yogurt contain essential nutrients, including Vitamins A and D, Zinc and Protein, which support immune function.

The Hollandia Dairy Day Conference is a public interest initiative created to highlight the importance of dairy in everyday nutrition and healthy living in Nigeria.

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Mastercard New Payments Index: Consumer appetite for digital payments takes off in Nigeria

78% of consumers in Nigeria say digital payments methods help them save money.

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  • 96% of consumers in Nigeria are considering emerging payments such as wearables, biometrics, digital wallets and currencies, and QR code, in addition to Contactless, according to the Mastercard New Payments Index
  • 86% of Nigerian consumers have access to more ways to pay compared to this time last year
  • 78% of consumers in Nigeria say digital payments methods help them save money
  • 81% say they are more loyal to retailers who offer multiple payment options and would shop at small businesses if offered more diverse ways to pay

As the world went into pandemic lockdown in 2020, consumers shifted their spending habits to embrace contactless tap-and-go payments and online shopping. As stores closed and social distancing took hold, retailers worldwide moved their businesses online, embraced e-commerce and explored the potential of new ways to pay. More than a year later, research from Mastercard shows that the adoption of new payment technologies is rising, and consumer appetite for new, fast and flexible digital experiences continues to grow.

The Mastercard New Payments Index shows 96% of Nigerian consumers will consider using at least one emerging payment method, such as cryptocurrency, biometrics, contactless, or QR code, in the next year.

Over two-thirds of respondents (66%) agree they have tried a new payment method they would not have tried under normal circumstances, but the pandemic has galvanized people to try flexible new payment options to get what they want, when they want it. With this interest and consumer demand also comes a greater expectation for businesses to provide multiple ways to shop and pay. In fact, 81% of Nigerian consumers say they are more excited about shopping at retailers who offer the latest payment methods.  Additionally, (78%) Nigerian consumers say that digital payment methods help them save money.

“The pandemic made us think differently, partly out of necessity,” said Craig Vosburg, Chief Product Officer at Mastercard. “To deliver the choice and flexibility that consumers need – and increasingly expect –retailers worldwide need to offer a range of payment solutions that are easy to access and always on.  As we look ahead, we need to continue to enable all choices, both in-store and online, to shape the fabric of commerce and make the digital economy work for everyone.”

Contactless technology was the digital catalyst to explore new payment options because of its fast, secure, and touch-free experience. Between the first quarter of 2020 and the same period in 2021, more than 100 markets saw contactless as a share of total in-person transactions grow by at least 50 percent.  A year into the COVID-19 pandemic, contactless is showing its staying power and dynamism – in the first quarter of 2021 alone, Mastercard saw 1 billion more contactless transactions worldwide as compared to the same period of 2020. All signs point to a continued growth path for contactless, with nearly 7 in 10 consumers globally anticipating using a contactless card this year.

“The world as we now know it has changed dramatically since the outbreak of the pandemic, accelerating long-term shifts in consumer transaction and payment methods. We continue to work with our merchants, fintechs and banking partners to rapidly innovate payment options that meet consumer needs while ensuring we drive financial and digital inclusion,” said Raghav Prasad, Division President, Mastercard, Sub-Saharan Africa.

Looking to the future, digital currencies and wallets, wearables, biometrics, contactless and QR codes are trending as emerging payments technologies as people’s comfort with them and understanding of them increases and the use of cash decreases. In fact, 86% of consumers in Nigeria have more ways to pay compared to this time last year. The exploding interest in new payment technologies may encourage businesses to expand their options at checkout. The Mastercard New Payment Index found:

  • Cryptocurrency1 Gains Ground – Today consumers can buy, sell, and trade cryptocurrency as a commodity or investment. Consumers are also increasingly showing interest in being able to spend crypto assets for everyday purchases. As global interest in digital currencies continues to accelerate, 6 in 10 people (65%) in Nigeria say they plan to use cryptocurrency in the next year, with 76% noting they are more open to using it than they were a year ago. While consumer interest in cryptocurrency – especially floating digital currencies such as Bitcoin – is high, work is still required to ensure consumer choice, protection, and their regulatory compliance. Earlier this year, Mastercard announced that it will start supporting select cryptocurrencies directly on its network.
  • Biometric Payments are More Trustworthy – Perceptions of safety and convenience have been front and center for people over the past year. 49% of Nigerian consumers say they plan to use biometric verification methods like gait or walk assessments and fingerprint authorization. In fact, over 6 out of 10 people (66%) feel safer using biometrics to verify a purchase than entering a pin.
  • QR Codes are Cleaner and More Convenient – Growing markets are leveraging QR-based options as a clean and convenient way to interact with merchants. Consumer desire for clean and convenient ways to pay will remain post-pandemic. 54% of people in Nigeria expect to use more payment technologies like QR codes in the next year. Consumers also find that that QR codes are cleaner (75%) and more convenient (77%) for in-person payments and have a significant potential to reduce cost of payment acceptance and increase financial
  • Digital Wallets Surge in Popularity – Nigeria is seeing a surge in the popularity of digital wallets. 73% of Nigerian consumers said they were likely to use digital wallets next year. 66% of shoppers even say that they feel safer storing their card information in one place such as a digital wallet.

To Meet People’s Demands, Businesses Forced to Jump into Emerging Payment Trends

With consumer interest around new payment technologies, the expectation for businesses to adapt for the long-term is here to stay. Over three in four Nigerian consumers (84%) say that they would shop at small businesses, if they offered more payment options, and 81% noted being more excited to shop at retailers that can offer the latest payment methods, and an equal proportion (81%) said they would be more loyal to retailers who offered multiple payment options.

This behaviour shift is reinforced by the desire for consumer choice – with 89% saying that they expect to make purchases when they want and how they want. The businesses that can provide multiple ways to shop and pay are best positioned to meet these expectations. As the demand for emerging payments and choice continues, it requires a wider range of payment solutions, insights, and products to meet the accelerating enthusiasm for the future state of pay.

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