Akinwuntan: Ecobank Deploying Digital Assets to Support MSMEs


Nume Ekeghe

The Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria, Patrick Akinwuntan has reaffirmed the bank’s commitment to the use its wide and versatile digital capacity to transform the entire value chain for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Nigeria.

This according to him would engender more activities in the sub sector leading to the overall growth of the economy. Akinwuntan disclosed that it was part of the overall strategy of the Ecobank Group to deploy its products with digital appeal to support business development.

He listed some of these products to include Omnilite, EcobankPay. It should be recalled that Ecobank is also providing Xpresspoints – which is agency banking in your neighbourhood.

“Omnilite is an Ecobank internet banking platform that allows entrepreneurs perform transactions, payments over the Internet through the Bank’s secure website.

“With Omni Lite, customers have easy access to their account(s) from anywhere in the world; online real-time account monitoring facility; convenience of conducting banking transactions from comfort of home/office; secured online transactions; easy access to bank information and products; effective, cheaper and easier way for our customers to communicate with the bank on a 24/7 basis”, he stated.

Speaking on the EcobankPay, Akinwuntan said “EcobankPay, is a digital QR code that enables payments using the mobile phone, without the need for a plastic card. It is really very convenient as it is a one stop platform of Ecobank across 33 countries in Africa.

“The uniqueness of our EcobankPay is that it has MasterPass, MVisa and Mcash options with a single merchant identity for each customer to transact across the three platforms.

“Our merchants on EcobankPay have a QR code that accepts all the three. Therefore, if the person that wishes to buy goods from you is coming from a bank that has MVisa, or Mastercard or Mcash, the same QRcode would accept your funds and vice versa.

“That creates interoperability and convenience for the merchants and as you know, the QRcode is much cheaper than having a point of sale (PoS). It also provides immediate credit to your bank account and not a day after as is on other acceptance platforms.

“Our products assist entrepreneurs achieve their goals whether it be payments or collections with more ease. We have the payment platform; we have e-portals that would transform the SMEs in Nigeria.”

Akinwuntan, who also spoke on the need to support and grow the intellectual economy, pointed out that Nigeria was gradually becoming a major hub in Africa on intellectual economy with the influx of Fin-tech companies and social media channels. He noted that Ecobank is already partnering with them to offer banking services.

“As you know if you look at the intellectual economy, Nigeria is becoming a major hub in Africa. We had Facebook come here to see what was going on, and a number of fintech companies becoming major players globally, attracting investments for the big IT companies and start-ups. “Ecobank is seeking to become the partner that provides the banking services for the intellectuals and the economic growth that they are fostering.

“We partner with fintechs, we do not compete with them, we understand that they have their value and we now have a digital platform that makes us the platform of choice and we have physical locations that guarantee distribution to the last mile. “