Spices 2

Key Ingredients…Nigeria with Rossini

EP’s Chief Payment Officer on why all eyes are on Nigeria and the best way to eat pancakes

At Emergent Payments, we strive to ensure our merchants have the right payment rails when expanding into high growth emerging markets from Brazil to Malaysia, India and Nigeria.

They are the ingredients of success.

2017 proves to be a big year and there’s significant change ahead. Over the coming months we’ll be sharing our team’s unique insights into what is affecting global markets to help you make considered decisions about your business.

We’ve got a lot to say about the big issues driving e-commerce payments like conversion optimization, regulatory changes, consumer trends and opportunities.

And we also consider ourselves a foodie bunch so we’ll be sharing some of our guilty meal pleasures.

Stay tuned!

EP’s Chief Payment Officer on why all eyes are on Nigeria and the best way to eat pancakes

Why is Nigeria a key gateway into the African market?
Nigeria’s population is rapidly expanding and young. Some UN projections even forecast it to be bigger than the US population by 2045. But we’re also seeing its middle class grow as well. For merchants looking to expand into Africa this means a big consumer base with increasing spending power. Africa on the whole is experiencing a huge surge in eCommerce and Nigeria is leading the charge on this. It’s overtaken South Africa as Africa’s largest economy but more importantly for our digital merchants it has the largest mobile market in Africa.

What are some key characteristics about the Nigerian market?
Consumers are looking for quicker, more secure and smarter ways to pay. The evolution of the digital payment landscape in Nigeria has been significant and there’s a lot more to come. Access to the internet – and therefore online retailers – is rapidly growing. The country is one of the biggest embracers of technology innovation. The Nigerian Central Bank has also taken big steps to harness the potential of digital payments across the country. And while mobile money had a slow start, we’ve seen a 4,394% increase between 2010 and 2014. The market appeal here is clear.

Emergent Payments now operates on the ground in Nigeria, how important is that for merchants?
It’s so important to be seen as very local by the consumer. The challenge is that you don’t want to be seen as an outsider taking market share from locals. This is at the very crux of the African market, but also something we see in markets around the world. Merchants are looking to reach the consumer in such a way that the consumer feels like they are purchasing from a local company using payments methods that they are familiar with. But merchants don’t necessarily want to set up an entity there. That is why we have established the presence on the ground to remove the burden.

What payment challenges are you seeing in the Nigerian market?
We understand that consumers can be faced with difficulties making payments to merchants using their local cards. Also restrictions on cross-border payments and the cost of processing. What we bring to the table for merchants is a set of local methods and the ability to accept transactions in the local currency. We are solving for the dominant payment methods – Verve and Quickteller – and we have an extensive understanding of tax compliance and regulatory requirements.

Any advice for merchants looking to Africa?
Nigeria is a great testing ground for merchants to move into the African market. There’s a lot of excitement and enterprise and the consumer growth potential is huge. Get to know the landscape and make the right partners that are in touch with the local market. The key is the right payment rails for the market you’re moving into. They’re the ingredients for success…

And finally, speaking of ingredients if you were to eat one dish for the rest of your life what would it be?
Pancakes! I make it every Sunday. Only a few ingredients and it beats any packet mix every time. And don’t forget the fresh berries and whipped cream on top.