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Access Bank unveils digital platform for SMEs

Access Bank GMD, Herbert Wigwe

By Chinyere Joel-Nwokeoma

Lagos, Dec. 16, 2020

Access Bank Plc on Wednesday unveiled the first payment acceptable service in the banking industry for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to participate actively in the digital space.

Mrs Ayodele Olojede, the bank’s Group Head Emerging Businesses, said that the solution, tagged ‘Swiftpay’, was introduced to support the transition and growth of customers’ businesses.

Olojede said that the product was part of the bank’s commitment to support SMEs digitally to meet business needs.

According to her, Swiftpay’ is a payment link that can be hosted on merchants social media page and can send to anyone to pay after business transactions.

“At Access Bank, we are committed to providing practical solutions that support the growth of our customers.

“We know that strong participation of SMEs in the market will strengthen their contribution to economic development,” she said.

Olojede noted that e-commerce had been challenging with increased risk of fraud due to the rise in the popularity of social media.

“Business identity fraud is on the rise with the use of logos and false pages that appear genuine but used to defraud unsuspecting potential buyers of their funds.

“With Swiftpay, merchants do not have to worry about this because every merchant registered on Swiftpay will carry a ‘verified by access ‘ stamp to authenticate the page.

“Swiftpay is free and the processing charge is discounted up to 15 per cent to ensure you keep most of your earnings unlike other services if you sign up to our visa business debit cards,” she said.

Olojede added that the bank had partnered Google business advisory to train 10,000 customers on the nuances of online business in the next one year.

She said that customers would be exposed to online tools to optimise business, adding that small businesses would have the opportunity of enjoying Google adverts.

“We also have partnerships that help customers create online store for as low as N25,000.

“You can see that our customers have access to the entire ecosystem. That helps you sell beyond the proximity of your store,” she said.

On the loan disbursement, Olojede disclosed that the bank had granted loans worth N30 billion to 8,000 customers in 2020, in spite of challenges caused by COVID-19.

She said that the bank would continue to nurture SMEs to be successful to boost economic growth and development.

Olojede said that the bank would expand footprints and drive a lot of loans digitally in 2021 to satisfy customers needs.

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