Nigerian economy depends a lot on micro-businesses which is why Access Bank Plc has now launched a new initiative to deliver inclusive financial services for the local micro-businesses, in addition to sharing the skills from the business growth with the owners. This new initiative is geared towards businesses that already have the turnover of ₦ 50,000 – ₦ 1 million, and allows them to operate their businesses with their individual name or a registered name.
Why micro-businesses matter
The banks want to make smart banking and tech innovations more mainstream and accessible to all the business owners across Nigeria, to make sure that their business not only amounts to the international standard but they can also develop together with them. These tech-heavy offers aren’t necessarily new. There are a lot of spheres that are now using technology to improve the way they are currently handling their businesses. This is why controversial technologies like facial recognition are being used in more and more places to prevent crime and make the post-crime processes a lot faster and more efficient. The same goes for the businesses that operate online, for example, online casinos for real money could use them to prevent underage gamblers from entering the website. Many people who have previously been denied access to some financial services, can not access them through technology. So there is definitely a lot of uses to the tech-based solutions for a variety of industries and Nigeria is well known for its ability to create and follow these tech trends.
What can Nigerian businesses hope for?
The Nigerian micro-business owners will have two main options when it comes to this offer: DBA TradeLite Individual and DBA TraderLite Business. The first one focuses on unregistered businesses and the second one offers the same services to registered businesses. The main point of this development was to make these services more inclusive towards those with unregistered businesses and to make the process more simple for the registered ones.
This is an incredibly important group for Nigeria’s economy since 84% of the jobs in the country come from its SME sector which is why the government is determined to make the necessary changes for the sector’s growth.
The reason why the government decided to work with Access bank is because they have over 6000 branches and they serve over 40 million customers. They have access to a huge market that would benefit the most out of this endeavour. As the government official is stating they want to create opportunities for the small and medium enterprises, because these types of businesses tend to contribute to growth in business the fastest, offering more than enough job opportunities and revenue. Nigeria wants to boost its existing SME scene and create more opportunities for the local business owners.
Particularly the offers want to offer smart banking to their clients to help modernize the businesses and build market links, increase their networking coverage and overall this offer is giving businesses a chance to skip ahead and offer services to many more who might need it, but often find them inaccessible. Micro-businesses often struggle to find standard financing and support from the banks, or either face the offers that bombard them with the requirements that they just simply can’t fulfil.
The smart banking and fintech services have created a lot of opportunities for the underserved and underprivileged and these technologies could really change the setup of not only Nigeria’s business sector but the financial world completely. Nigeria has been on the rise when it comes to tech innovation and this new initiative is just another example of the yet unexplored potential of the country.