As the e-payment market becomes competitive with variant services from top technology firms across the world finding space in the Nigerian market, there is increasing confidence that the banking landscape will begin to deliver efficient services.
The challenge many foresee would need to be tacked to achieve efficiency and stability, meaning there is the need for players to bring in security backed networks that guarantee safety for consumers.
This has become necessary in view of growing activities of scammers whose focus are continuously high on taking advantage of any lapses in the available security networks. Perhaps, this is necessary to encourage new investment in better IT platforms and consolidate on existing ones.
This is why the Card and e-Payment Africa Awards (CePAA) plans to encourage huge investment into research and development needed to sustain innovation in e-payment in Africa.
Speaking at the maiden edition of the Award, held in Johannesburg, South Africa, Adeyinka Adeyemi, managing consultant, Intermac Consulting, said “the rapid growth of e-payment across the continent is driven by innovative products occasioned by huge investments in research and development.
“There is just nobody noticing the huge investments going into research and development to bring about new technologies and new solutions. Sometimes these solutions succeed, sometimes they fail, and when they fail what most stakeholders tend to do is go back to the drawing board, spending double and sometimes triple until they get to the market.
“Now, once they get to the market with a fantastic product like Mpesa for instance, nobody recognises that effort, even though they are making money, they are selling services and we believe that we must come to terms with the fact that there are people that are doing a lot of work to get the products to the shelves, to get technologies that will work to the table and to the shelves. And that is why we came up with the concept of Cards and E-payment Africa Awards (CePAA).”
In his address while receiving the award for Best Security and Authentication Programme, Charlton Goredema, vice president/area business head for Southern Africa and Indian Ocean Islands of MasterCard Worldwide, said “card usage and acceptance in Africa has become phenomenal, especially given the volume and value of transactions recorded on a daily basis for e-commerce.
“Financial institutions and payment system providers who are making this convenience and security happen should be recognised for their efforts and investment in innovative products and services, therefore the organisers of this awards should be encouraged to keep the flag flying.”
The event featured 12 categories of awards with Nigeria’s Diamond Bank, and the Congo subsidiary of Access Bank, emerging among the winners. Diamond Bank won the Best Credit Card Product of the Year and the Best Co-branded Card Programme, while Access Bank Congo won the Best Debit Card Product of the Year award.
The Best Mobile Payment Product award was won by Fundamo (PTY) South Africa, while DrawCard, South Africa won the Best Alternative Payments Programme award. MasterCard emerged winner of the Best Security and Authentication Programme, while the Best Card Benefits Programme of the Year award went to Absa Bank of South Africa.
Speaking while receiving the Personality of the Year award, Angola, Jose de Matos, managing director of Empresa Interbancaria de Servicos (EMIS), commended Intermarc Consulting for its leadership, passion and commitment in organising the award, saying “the initiative could not have come at a better time, as the African continent is experiencing a huge appreciation of technology in the day-to-day activity of the average citizen.”
Receiving the Best Card Benefit Programme of the Year award on behalf of Absa Bank South Africa, Juanita Matelakengisa, the chief of staff, card and consumer finance, noted that since similar awards were being held in Europe, Asia and America for those continents, developments in the card space across Africa needed to be recognised and success stories celebrated.
On his part, Lincoln Boweni, a director with eTranzact Global South Africa (Pty) Limited, who received the Best Mobile Payment Initiative of the Year on behalf of his company, praised the organisers for a successful event and encouraged key stakeholders in the e-payment industry across Africa to celebrate success stories, as the African electronic transaction industry had come of age.
Uzoma Dozie, executive director, Diamond Bank Nigeria, while receiving the Best Credit Card Product of the Year and Best Co-Branded Card Product of the Year, said “Diamond Bank is happy to receive the awards, which will further encourage the bank to focus on providing excellent customer experience across all electronic channels.”
The 12 award winners emerged through an online voting system on the Card and ePayment Africa Awards website. The voting was supervised by a panel of judges comprising six industry experts from the card and e-payment sector across Africa with experience within the industry brought together for the selection of winners.