With over 35 million registered Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the country, the duo of Diamond Bank and Microsoft are set to empower the SMEs growth in Nigeria, through the Diamond Mobile Point of Sales (MPoS).
Speaking during a one-day workshop recently on improving business productivity among SMEs, both organizations gave assurance that they would accelerate SME business via providing the right technology tools that would empower their businesses in today’s digital world.
According to the Head, Emerging Business, Diamond Bank, Njideka Esomeju, Diamond MPoS solution would enhance business productivity among SMEs in the country.
Said She “We need to get SMEs to move online, which is the next level of business, and to learn how to maximise the use of their computers to improve their business efficiency” At Diamond Bank, our slogan is ‘Beyond Banking’ and we have fully gone beyond the initial ways where customers had to go into the banking hall to deposit, withdraw or transact some forms businesses. We have introduced solutions that empower small businesses to move to the next level, which is about leveraging technology for business efficiency”.
The MPoS could be operated offline and online, with and without connectivity. If there is difficulty in internet connectivity, the MPoS would record transactions, store and later drop when connectivity is restored, and there is no limit to the daily amount of financial transactions that could be carried out by SMEs on the MPoS.
On reasons for the Microsoft’s collaboration, she explained that business solution would further enhance SME business.
“The Microsoft solution will enhance communication among SME staff. We are also partnering Enterprise Development Centre (EDC) because they also support SMEs”.
Explaining how the solution could be used, Gideon Akpebu said “the MPoS is a smart reader that works with mobile phones. It is unique because it differs from other PoS in terms of size, as it comes very handy, and can accept payment for business transactions from any part of the country and at any time. It takes record of daily transactions and issues receipt for each transaction. According to him, all that the SME need do is to download the app from Play Store, pair it with a mobile phone via Bluetooth and activate it for usage.
Marketing and Communications Lead, Microsoft Nigeria, Edmond Idokoko, while speaking on the value that Microsoft brings to SMEs, explained that Microsoft mantra is to enable individuals and organizations achieve more in the business by leveraging Microsoft technology solutions.
“We are bringing value to SMEs by collaborating with Diamond Bank on SME growth. For instance we are offering our Office 365 technology solution free of charge to SMEs for a period of six months, after which the SME can begin monthly subscription on the solution. We are using Nigeria as a pilot market, from where we will move to other regions and countries to also support SMEs. The focus is on Nigeria because Nigeria falls within the emerging market. Again, Nigeria is a strategic market for Microsoft, because of its large population size, as well as the important role it plays in the African market,” Idokoko said.
Speaking on the impact of Microsoft solution on SMEs busyness, Idokoko said “SMEs are challenged by a number of things, which ranges from environmental factors to funding and access to funding and technology solutions. So Microsoft can enable SMEs to overcome most of their challenges. The technology solution that we are offering SMEs for free will actually help them grow their business and have enough capital base to begin business expansion, thereby creating job opportunities for people.”
According to him, the Office 365 solution for small businesses, would no doubt enhance business growth among SMEs. It comes with features like Microsoft word, Power Point, Excel, Communication App, among others.