Global payments giant, Mastercard, has partnered with Alerzo, a Nigerian B2B eCommerce platform, to empower Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) by offering digital payment solutions, financial education, and credit access.
This partnership plans to accelerate the adoption of digital payments and promote the use of financial solutions over the next five years. It also aims to provide practical financial training and knowledge to one million Nigerian SMEs.
Alerzo's background in B2B eCommerce and Mastercard's extensive global infrastructure and network will make it simpler for companies of all sizes to access digital payments.
Additionally, businesses will have access to several solutions, such as VeedezPay, a digital payment solution created specifically for small and independent companies.
These SMEs will also access VeedezPro, a comprehensive business management tool, and Enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions for larger, more established companies.
Moreover, the low-cost acceptance solutions offered by the partnership, such as Tap on Phone, QR, Pay-By-Link, and Payment Gateway Service, will be helpful to SMEs and informal retailers.
Businesses can sign up for VeedezPay and VeedezPro, available for download from the App Store and Google Play, to accept digital and contactless payments.
Established businesses can also access the ERP solution, which includes integrated business management tools and several other features.
Business owners who use the VeedezPay and VeedezPro solutions will also have access to micro-lending services.
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One report found that only 15% of Nigerian SMEs have access to formal credit, leaving many SMEs with insufficient funding. Besides, another report shows that the financing gap for Nigeria's micro, small, and medium-sized businesses (MSMEs) has reached $158.1 billion. Director-General of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN), Olawale Fasanya, said access to capital is one of the biggest obstacles to the growth of MSMEs.
Thus, the Alerzo B2B commerce application will provide informal retailers with access to micro-lending options.
What's more, Alerzo digitises commerce and payments processes between Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) suppliers and informal retailers. It claims it serves over 100,000 retailers.
"With our combined expertise and resources, we look forward to continuing to provide training, financial support, and innovative payment solutions to businesses in Nigeria. These solutions could be a game-changer, especially for our informal retailers, who often get overlooked," Adewale Opaleye, Alerzo CEO, says.