Nigeria has huge e-commerce potentials, both locally and internationally, which make an easy and generally acceptable e-commerce payment platform a key imperative for the market projected to reach $1 billion by year-end, Chuma Ezirim, Head of e-Business at First Bank has said.
[blockquote right=”pull-right” cite=”Chuma Ezirim, Head of e-Business at First Bank”]”Nigerians are connected and are always ahead of the curve when adopting new technologies”, he said citing that market data show that Nigeria ranks first in Africa and seventh in the world in number of mobile phone subscriptions. [/blockquote]
According to him research reveals that online purchases in Nigeria will increase to over $1 billion this year just as he reckons that the partnerships sealed between First bank and PayPal, the online payment giant, will further foster e-commerce growth in Nigeria.
He took attendees at the event to announce the First Bank-PayPal alliance in Lagos on a walk through the Nigerian market as at 2014 quoting figures from the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), Ministry of Communication Technology and other international IT agencies.
“Nigerians are connected and are always ahead of the curve when adopting new technologies”, he said citing that market data reveal that Nigeria ranks first in Africa and seventh in the world in number of mobile phone subscriptions.
But in spite of the large market and high number of Internet and mobile phone users in Nigeria, investors are yet to explore stakes in the booming e-commerce sector in the country.
He links the slow uptake in this sector to infrastructural challenges and others like technology, financial, lack of digital laws and lack of ‘trusted’ payment scheme.
He believes that the partnership with PayPal and the Nigerian bank would speed up the pace of e-commerce and payment habits in the local economy and would collapse the existing divide between Nigeria and the rest of the world.
He cited a number of motivating factors that influenced the partnership. According to him, First Bank control 30% of bank accounts in Nigeria and last year, First Bank ATM dispensed about N1.7 trillion, which represents more than the entire industry dispensed in 2011.
Ezirim added that PayPal partnership will also allow First Bank cardholders and businesses to enjoy increased transaction limits, receive instant verification, make online payments and transfer funds across the world to 193 countries and regions globally.