Businesses have been urged to introduce electronic payment systems to improve the services they render to their clients.
The Chief Technology Officer of MPower Payments Limited (MPL), Mr Alfred Rowe, said although businesses had moved in quickly with the proliferation of the Internet and were using it to expand their services to reach customers and interact with them, businesses had not innovated around payments.
“We have all been to websites where you fill some forms and when you finish they tell you to find one of their branches and make payments. So you see it defeats the full purpose of going online. What’s the use for a customer to come online, perform a service, and then cannot pay but has to manually enter a premises to complete payment,” he said.
He was speaking at Joy Technology Innovative Summit (JOTIS 2015) at the Kofi Annan ICT Centre in Accra on October 20. He urged businesses in Ghana to set up dedicated technology departments for e-payment to help customers take advantage of it.
E-payment system is a way of paying for goods or services electronically, instead of using cash or cheque, go in person or by mail.
The system is generally categorized into four, namely, credit card and debit cards, electronic cash, micropayment systems, and session-level protocols for secure communications.
Mr. Rowe said, unlike the early 90s when people went to the post office to mail letters, the invention of email had overtaken the way the postal system worked.
“Now there are generations who have not written letters before because of email. What email did to the postal system e-payment is going to do the same to cash, going forward. It will get to a point where normal day-to-day transactions will be done electronically because the average modern-day customer is a very digitalized customer who pays school fees, bills, and other services electronically without spending time,” he said.
He said e-payment had many advantages and was transforming businesses such that some traditional businesses had expanded their service delivery to make more revenue.
“A traditional business like the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) has expanded its service delivery to customers electronically. From the comfort of their homes, customers can now pay for their bills. What this means for ECG is that it can sell to customers at all times. It means business is now 24 hours and is not limited to location,” he said.
The Chief Executive Officer of SOFTtribe, Mr. Herman Chinery-Hesse, said most of the challenges confronting developing countries could be solved through simple technology and that it did not require big industries to solve them.
He advised up-and-coming technology innovators to avoid innovations that required large organizations of governments.
“The reason why I say this is that from experience it’s a very challenging environment and need to avoid plenty of problems. So if you can avoid it and rather come out with ideas that address the problems of the masses, or else the process of getting it into use may be long and you may be disappointed,” he said.
He said young innovators should again avoid developing technology programs that required permits or changes in law and must also avoid cut and paste.
“A lot of our young people come and chat with me and say I just invented something but they describe and you realize it is something you have read about before. It’s like re-hashing Michael Jackson’s song. Dishonesty kills innovation so you actually have to innovate properly,” he said.
“Take Advantage Of Our Robust Infrastructure” — MTN Urges Businesses
October 19, 2015 | 3 minutes read
Telecom giant MTN has urged small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and large corporations to ride on the robust infrastructure it has built over the years to propel their businesses to new heights.
Samuel Addo, General Manager MTN Business — the business unit of MTN Ghana — who focused on providing businesses and institutions with combined network and IT infrastructure, made the call at the 2015 MTN Business Fair held recently at the La Palm Royal Beach Hotel, Accra.
“As a testament of our continuous investment in the right infrastructure for the industry, MTN emerged the only mobile operator to have excelled in the first-ever data quality of service test conducted by the NCA, our regulator, in the two upper regions of Ghana.“
It is against this backdrop that we continue to call on all to ride on the robust infrastructure we have built over the years to propel your businesses to new heights,” he told exhibitors and other stakeholders at the fair’s opening ceremony.
He called on all gathered to take the opportunity of the fair to apprise themselves of the plethora of products, services, and technology available on MTN’s platform. “Indeed, there can be no better time to take advantage of MTN’s technological innovations than now.”
The MTN Business Fair is an initiative by MTN Business Ghana to bring together SMEs and corporate organisations to empower their businesses so as to maximise productivity and enable and inspire growth.
Under the theme ‘Sharing the Values of Growth for Businesses’, exhibitors were Sci-Fi Webtech, Fidelity Bank, Forum Networks, and SMSGH (1188 Directory Services).
Mr. Addo explained that the theme underscored the primary aim of the MTN Business Fair, which is to demystify the bouquet of technology solutions available for businesses and showcase the wide variety of technologies, products, and services available to businesses.
The fair has already been to the Eastern, Western, and Ashanti Regions, where MTN and its partners interacted with various businesses to understand and share ideas on the way forward.
“We have no doubt that through these interactions we can transform our businesses, reduce our operational expenditures and, more importantly, maximize the benefits from using the right technology in our businesses,” he added.
He assured us that the MTN Ghana Business Fair has come to stay and will serve as a platform that continually explores ways of staying in touch with the business community.
“MTN finds it necessary to interact with the business community to establish itself as the place where individuals and organizations from the corporate world meet to take advantage of the varied, tailor-made solutions and products that MTN Business offers to optimize the productivity of SMEs and expand their businesses.”
He added that just a few days ago MTN attained its fifteen millionth subscriber — a historical feat that affirms the fact MTN leads in voice and digital innovations in the industry.
Other speakers including Sofiene Marzouki, Managing Director of Hello Foods — an online food ordering marketplace that connects customers with restaurants — lauded MTN’s efforts in helping businesses operate smoothly through its products and services on offer.
“As an online food-ordering marketplace, the integration of MTN mobile money has helped improve our operations in terms of online payment and enhanced higher customer satisfaction,” he said.