As Remita app is being developed for iOS users, Mr. David Okeme, chief marketing officer, SystemSpecs Nigeria (Remita), said that the platform is meant to give users convenience in the digital payment ecosystem.
Treasury Single Account (TSA) powered by Remita assists the Federal Government recording monthly bank charges amounting to a whooping N4.7bn on its funds lodged in various banks in the country.
Mr. Okeme who was among panelists at the Nigeria Int'l Technology Exhibition & Conference presents NITEC 2017 held in Lagos on Tuesday, said that when fully rejigged users will begin to enjoy Remita App on their mobile phones and experience payment convenience with a difference.
He said that the new app will enable registered employees of organisations to view the breakdown of their salaries with the help of a new Payslip feature.
Mr. Okeme later in an interview with journalists said, “Our team is working hard to give you the best Remita experience ever and help you stay in firm charge of your finance, right from your phone.
The brand- Remita is on a mission to make payment easy. At the back of everything we are doing or have done so far, is geared towards that innovation that payment experience of people is made easier and simpler. That is the context we embarked on the innovation to building an app. What we did in March 2017 was to release it to the App Store; it was a test phase. The whole unveil was to a limited number of users. In the last thirteen weeks, we have taken it back to refine the app.
“If you noticed, when we released it in March it was only in Android version, now the iOS version is ready. We carried out all the necessary refine required and moving to the commercial launch".
“It is a platform that enables you all accounts in one app; all your financial apps can be collapsed into one. Research shows that average Nigerian opens three accounts. Therefore, Nigerians maintain multiple financial apps. With this app, we are providing a facility to ensure they manage it well.
“Secondly, it also has innovative feature like request payment. Again, it is new to this market. It has everyday lifestyle supporting applications like transferring money from peer-to-peer, buying airtimes, payment of bills.
He said that for small businesses which happen to be focus of NITEC 2017, he said “from the app they can manage their businesses, putting your corporate accounts and manage them, you can leverage the electronic invoicing system to send invoices to customers and it enables you to pay or be paid faster. Overall, it is basically, first, a financial tool for the individual and a tool for the business owner to be able to make his business more effective”.
The Chief Marketing Officer, SystemSpecs Nigeria (Remita) explained that the app offers limited user interface at the moment, “but you can even download it today and start to use it. However, the full power and availability across Android and iOS will be unveiled very shortly, even this July”.
How To Get Across With Financial Inclusion
He said that the speed at which Nigerians have adopted smartphone gives the financial sector a window to reach the people for financial inclusion.
"We are very confident that adoption is going to be very rapid. I think the barriers we will need to cross very quickly are primarily about trust and culture. Trust, because digital money is not physical, especially in the context of people are still weary to make transactions online. That is why platforms like Jumia and Konga had to come up with payment on delivery model.
Mr. Okeme, however, called for improved education among the populace to drive their interest in the digital payment space, lamenting that issues around trust and culture are still huge impediments to e-payment.
“I think as people get into the habit and use it over time, they will get used to it. Another one is education: Naira in your pocket and Naira in your phone is still the same currency. Some people feel unless you can touch the physical cash, you don't really have the feeling you are carrying cash. So, behavioural change happens by repeated actions or usage. As far as we continue to expand the infrastructures or the points these digital payment tools are been accepted, then, I believe with time it will work.
“Having said that, if you look at the facts as released by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) adoption has been on double digit growth. So, we have the confidence it will accelerate. The future is mobile. By the time Remita App comes to play, I believe that the adoption rate will be faster”, he concluded.