Unified Payments (UP), an electronic payment company in Nigeria, has unveiled what it described as first-in-class solution in the sector tagged: “UP Hourly Settlement Service (UP-HSS).”
According to the company, the product is positioned to enable merchants get their monies hourly for every successful e-payment transaction they do.
The hourly settlement for every successful e-payment transaction done at their shops, is rather an update of the existing next day settlement known as “Transaction Day + 1” (T + 1), a day after customers have parted with goods or services.
The product was inspired by the zeal to meet the needs of merchants, especially Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), for shorter settlement cycle and recycling of their trading capital and to develop a solution that offers their partner banks competitive advantages in growing their merchant acquiring businesses.
UP-HSS was also developed to support the Central Bank of Nigeria’s cash-less initiative to grow the adoption of electronic payments in the country and assist in increasing turn-around time for commerce in Nigeria, thereby assisting to stimulate the nation’s economy and its Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
The Managing Director and Chief Executive officer of UP, Agada Apochi, said the solution was the first of its kind in this part of the world, and globally, is the first of its kind to be offered by a multi-bank institution.
“There is no payment solution provider, processor or switch that offers this service anywhere else that we are aware of.
An individual bank may, but that is an arrangement that is internal to each bank.
“Where we are today in terms of electronic payments is less than 10 per cent of where we should be and what we seek to offer is at industry level and this history is defined by the need to encourage merchants, retailers and other businesses in Nigeria to adopt electronic payment.
“Based on our lead analysis of the market and individual businesses, a big need for the merchants was access to funds.
They want to have their funds on timely basis so that they can grow their businesses and if that must be achieved, T + 1 day is not sufficient.
“This is a great improvement from where we are coming. Today as T + 1 is now transaction time plus one hour.
We have no doubts in our minds that this would be a good reason to why major retailers and merchants would adopt electronic payment.
“We hope to see in three to six months from now a switch from cash and other forms of payment to electronic payment.
We expect that by six months from now when we take statistics, 80 to 90 per cent of sales at merchants’ outlets would be through electronic channels.”