Tuesday, March 16, 2021 / 11:00AM / Ottoabasi
Abasiekong for WebTV / Header Image Credit: WebTV
Nigeria's financial services industry witnessed a significant shift with the formal launching of the NQR payment solution, developed by the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) to create seamless and contactless transactions in local financial markets.
The event conducted in a hybrid format (virtual and physical following COVID 19 protocols) brought together stakeholders in the financial services, technology industry, regulators, and policymakers.
The NIBSS NQR code, according to stakeholders would transform the landscape of the Nigerian payment ecosystem and improve areas like micropayments that would have a positive impact on merchants and businesses.
The NQR payment solution implemented on behalf of financial services providers would unify the available closed QR Code schemes in the country.
The Chairman of the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc, Mrs. Aisha Ahmad described the launch as pacesetting for the financial services sector and believed that it would foster innovation.
Ahmad who is also the Deputy Governor, Financial System Stability of the Central Bank of Nigeria, said the CBN was committed to providing an enabling environment for the inter-operability of the financial services sector.
Bank CEOs; Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, First Bank, Mr. Herbert Wigwe, Access Bank, Mr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu, Zenith Bank, Mr. Patrick Akinwuntan, Ecobank Nigeria, Mr. Ademola Adebise, Wema Bank, Mr. Olaniran Olayinka, Keystone Bank endorsed the NQR solution.
They highlighted the following benefits it would bring to the payment industry;
On his part, the CEO of NIBSS, Mr. Premier Oiwoh said "With more people being able to pay for goods and services with just their smartphones, the "NQR Payment is about re-creating the Nigerian payment experience whilst deepening financial inclusion in the country".
He added that "Digital transactions supported through the NQR code payments will promote and enhance consumer payment experience while driving growth for business owners".
The Deputy Managing Director of NIBSS, Mr. Niyi Ajao said the NQR payment solution will reduce the cost for merchants, improve business activities in the country and deepen financial inclusion.
According to Ajao Nigeria is already making strides at the global level with its robust payment systems that have been described as globally competitive and highly innovative.
The NQR payment solution is a flexible payment solution that is convenient and has an integrated process that leverages the APIs, enhances the scanning to pay mode, fast-track the process for receiving money in real-time, and facilitates sharp and instantaneous payments.
As consumers and merchants alike move towards technology-driven solutions, QR Codes are growing increasingly important. Nigeria demonstrates yet again that it has a forward-looking financial services industry, as it drives towards a truly cashless and contactless society with NQR.
This innovation comes at a time that Nigeria is adjusting to the realities of the COVID 19 pandemic, characterized by social distancing, remote working experiences, and restricted gatherings.