Payment technology over the years has completely transformed how retailers operate. Thirty years ago, most retailers across Africa did not accept credit cards, and mobile money was still an idea. Over the past decade and a half, mobile money has transformed how African consumers access and use their money to pay for goods and services. But the most significant shift in the use of digital payments has happened in the last year, where the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated digitisation for the retail sector.
Unfortunately, retail businesses in major urban areas that were not equipped to handle card or mobile payments found it challenging to survive the COVID-19 pandemic. In Zambia, where multiple mobile money players are fighting for market share, merchants and retailers have set up fragmented payment processes, contracts and accounts to accept all forms of payments. In turn, this means that the retailer is managing varying user payment experiences to collect from multiple mobile money networks and processes for settlement and reversals daily.
Cellulant, a Pan-African payments company, is addressing this fragmentation in payment processing for retailers by rolling out Tingg, a digital payments platform enabling businesses across Zambia to accept payments from their customers seamlessly.
“Today, roughly 50% of retail customers request to pay for their purchases using digital payment options. Therefore, for all businesses – small, medium, large- digitising their payments has moved from a good to have to a game-changer in what has become the new norm. However, this demand presents several challenges for most merchants who might not always support the customer’s preferred payment method, resulting in merchants having to enable multiple solutions to support multiple wallets. We want to partner with these businesses and makes it easy for them to conveniently and affordably accept payments with fewer hoops,” says Gilbert Lungu, Country Manager for Cellulant Zambia.
A single integrated solution, Tingg offers simplified payment tools and processes for a merchant to manage their payments. As a result, businesses can allow their customers to make payments for goods and services using locally relevant payment options.
“In rolling out this digital payments platform, we are slowly removing the dependency on cash and POS terminals. Retailers can accept as many payment methods as possible whilst simplifying the collections and settlement processes. For retail customers, the solution provides a standard and unified payment experience regardless of the payment method.,” add Mr Lungu.
More than 70% of businesses in Africa are small or medium businesses and remain a backbone for economic growth for many other countries in Africa. Yet, 90% of these businesses collect payments in cash and lack digital payments options that cater to their customers. Cellulant aims to leverage its digital payments platform to boost growth for the retail sector by making it easy for businesses to conveniently and affordably accept payments and address the complex needs of managing payments.