Over the last two to three years since Covid gripped the world, businesses are now much more receptive to technology. Today, a lot of SMEs are looking to adopt technology solutions to solve their problems.
Traction Apps, a fintech solution is helping to build tools for small businesses to run and grow their businesses better. The platform offers solutions across payment acceptance, helping SMEs to accept payments however their customers want to pay them – via POS terminals, bank transfers, or online.
Beyond this, Traction Apps also help to facilitate access to credits for businesses by helping them get loans via lending partners. Its solutions hinge around helping businesses to better operate in terms of how to better manage inventory and bookkeeping solutions to allow businesses to keep proper records amongst others.
Mayowa Alli, CEO of Traction, during the Business Half Hour programme hosted by Nairametrics, noted that the platform is open to almost every kind of SME that operates legitimately. He stressed that the company provides an all-encompassing solution that combines different solutions in one app.
- “As a business owner, in three days, you can just sign up on our platform, request a terminal and we will deliver it to you and you can start accepting payments via POS terminals. We also offer payment acceptance via bank transfers, and one of the things we noticed you know specifically for bank transfers is that many business owners have problems with this particular method of payment, so we’ve solved this problem with our bank transfer acceptance product whereby as a business owner, you can now enable your cashier to accept payment via bank transfers.
- “They can see the money when it comes in, they can print receipts and they don’t need to have access like your main account. That’s one of our most innovative and widely adopted products, right? We also enable payments via online payment links as well for those that sell online, or need to get customers to pay them remotely.”
Running a business means a whole lot – from having to face risk to shouldering the responsibilities of employees and customers and a great level of strategic thinking. The CEO however said he can find a balance between the risk, the opportunity, and the satisfaction that comes when the company goes from just an idea to solving problems for people.
In recent times, however, there has been a rise in the number of companies offering fintech solutions to ease financing for individuals and businesses but Alli believes that the space is not fully saturated, inferring from data, which points to the fact that over 90% of payments are still done in cash.
According to him, there’s so much growth that is happening within the space, but there is still a whole lot that needs to be done as fintechs in the country are barely scratching the surface and there’s still so much opportunity and potential to go.
- He said, “For us, our competition is not any of the existing players, the competition is cash. Until we get to the point where every single Shawarma joint around is directly accepting payments electronically or fabric seller is accepting payment, that’s when I think we can say we’re saturated.”
Speaking to challenges in running the business, he listed general issues common to the business terrain in Nigeria such as a lagging infrastructure on the tech side, and issues around retaining tech talent due to mass migration amongst others.
- He added, “Talent retention is something that we’re always constantly thinking through in terms of how we keep our best people and also have a training system that is constantly, producing new talents and upskilling people.
- “Another is finding partners who share the same vision with you and can see the bigger picture. For example, on the credit side, we try finding partners that will see that big picture. It’s also sometimes quite challenging in this market, but we’re doing our best to surmount this. Overall, the growth potential outweighs the challenges.”
Traction currently has its presence in about 27 states of Nigeria. But the fintech said it is not resting on its oars as it plans to expand across the country and deliver more to customers.
Commenting on the business environment in Nigeria, he noted that the government has been improving in terms of supporting small business growth in the country even though there is still a long way to go in terms of support. He said,
- “Beyond access to capital and access to credit, that’s a big challenge, Businesses are also grappling with issues around infrastructure, supply chain, getting products, talent issue with staff and even capacity, building so I think there is a long way to go.”
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