Despite the advantages of cashless transactions which has been promoted by Central Bank of Nigeria for three years now, about 98 per cent of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Nigeria are said to indulge in cash transactions, instead of electronic payments.
This was disclosed by MasterCard, at the recently, when it granted an acquiring license to Unified Payment Service Limited (Unified Payments)- a payments service provider, in a move that is expected to increase the acceptance of MasterCard payment cards in Nigeria.
Though, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) said about 17 million SMEs exist in Nigeria, its latest research and that of the National Bureau of Statistics showed that MSMEs represent 95 per cent of registered businesses in Nigeria and accounts for 75 per cent of the workforce.
But to Mastercard research, nearly 98 percent of all MSME payments are still made with cash across the country.
Unified Payments operates as a shared infrastructure for the Nigerian banking community to enable a wide range of merchants to accept electronic payments.
With the acquisition of the license, merchants using Unified Payment’s e-payments services will be able to accept local and international MasterCard and other branded payment cards without needing to operate multiple Point of Sale (POS) terminals.
The Vice President and Area Business Head, MasterCard in West Africa, Omokehinde Ojomuyide, said the firm’s collaboration with Unified Payments was another step by MasterCard towards realizing the vision of a world beyond cash.
“Through this partnership, we will introduce merchants – many of which are Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises – to all the benefits associated with MasterCard acceptance, while providing our more than two billion cardholders with even more locations at which to use their MasterCard payment cards”, she stated.
According to MasterCard, as the acceptance of electronic payments is enhanced, these business owners (MSMEs) can increase their revenue, enjoy better access to capital, be able to better manage and track their spending, save for future needs and protect themselves against unforeseen risks.