“Cash is king” so says the famous adage. But digital payments have been waging and winning a silent war against cash for years. Looking back at the payments landscape in Nigeria over the years, a significant shift is noticeable - Digital payment has been like a guerrilla army, silently waging a war of attrition against cash. Fast forward to 2020, in times of COVID-19 and beyond, we are seeing more people use digital and contactless payments.
The isolation brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic further increased the need for embedded financial services into platforms and non-financial businesses and it became increasingly clear that the pandemic has brought into question the resilience and relevance of traditional business models in retail and financial services. While the first wave brought supply chains around the globe to a halt, it revealed the reliability and stability of embedded finance - a proof that retail is one of the industries that would enjoy huge benefits offered by embedded finance.
Omnibiz, a unified distribution platform, has learnt from the pandemic to digitize the chain from distributors to retailers. Over the years, Omnibiz has provided several businesses across the FMCG industry with the services and tools necessary to overcome contemporary challenges in the traditional marketplace. Omnibiz believes that for the global economy to thrive, local businesses must be given the grounds to grow.
Omnibiz acts on this core belief by partnering with OnePipe to enable Omnibiz to offer financial services, including enabling retailers to eliminate cash payments and layering BNPL (Buy Now, Pay Later) service for qualified retailers so they can grow. Leveraging embedded finance offered by Omnibiz through OnePipe, retailers are now able to digitally request inventory directly from the warehouse and have it shipped to them. This eliminates the need for cash handling.
For distributors and manufacturers, cash handling comes at a cost. Before the introduction of the digitized workflow, the retailer receives cash from their customers and pays the wholesaler or distributor. Now, with the new embedded finance from Omnibiz, customers can pay directly into the account of the retailer and retailers can place orders, track their sales, apply for credit and get approved without leaving the App. This embedded banking feature shortens the retailer’s journey, making it easier for them to buy and increases the likelihood of making future purchases. With these services, the bank is no longer the only option for a credit facility.
“We have done business with most of these retailers for years,” noted Deepankar Rustagi, CEO of Omnibiz. “We know their business, their purchase, sales and payment patterns, and we are best suited to provide financial services to them. Retailers find it difficult to access capital from traditional banks when they need it, especially when their credit history isn’t too good. Now, more and more retailers are using our digital platforms to order products directly. By using their recent transaction history, we can lend against their future revenues.”
Omnibiz is now able to issue accounts to retailers and drivers as a way to resolve the reconciliation issues without significantly changing retailer behavior.
- All retailers and drivers had unique virtual accounts assigned to them
- Retailers pay in cash to the driver
- The driver deposits the cash into the special accounts at the nearest agent or bank branch along his route
- API integrations resolves the orders attached to the payment and auto-reconciles
The process significantly cuts out the risks of long distance cash handling and the tedious daily reconciliation of accounts. Furthermore, Omnibiz allows retailers to upgrade the same accounts to fully functional status and offers incentives for more cashless behavior, such as lowest cost for funds transfers, airtime purchases at a discount and credit lines linked to the account activity.
Through its partnership with OnePipe, Omnibiz has not only helped manufacturers and distributors of FMCG products to reach retailers in the last mile, but also made it possible to deepen financial inclusion and cashless behavior in the retail distribution chain. According to Deepankar Rustagi, “The pandemic was a catalyst for our growth.” He stated that the solution offered by Omnibiz is redefining the FMCG supply chain. “This process has increased our AOV (Average Order Value) and CLTV (Customer Lifetime Value) and we are just getting started.”
Without gainsaying, embedded finance helps businesses to increase customer loyalty and revenue by offering a wide range of third-party financial products and revenue streams to their customers. Moreover, BNPL service is the clear solution for businesses looking to stay competitive in a changing retail environment where shoppers are looking for flexibility. With Omnibiz, retailers can now stock up on more inventories and meet demands in high demand periods. They can do more business, purchase more products and also cater to a broader set of customers due to the variety of goods in their stock. This in turn helps them grow their business and increase their customer base.