Nigeria is trailing South Africa in the adoption of electronic bank transfers, speed of processing invoices, payment automation, and the development of key business-to-business payment processes across the continent, a Duplo report has stated.
The report, titled ‘Exploring the State of B2B Payments in Africa’, includes the surveyed opinions of more than 1,200 professionals from Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, and Ghana.
It revealed that South Africa led the way in electronic bank transfers, with 49.1 per cent of respondents choosing it as their preferred way to pay vendors, followed by Nigeria (48.5 per cent), Ghana (34 per cent), and Kenya (31.9 per cent).
It further stated that Kenya led the way in payment automation, with 83.4 per cent of Kenyans stating that their payment system was either semi-automated or fully automated, compared to Nigeria (79.9 per cent), South Africa (71.69 per cent), and Ghana (67.23 per cent).
The Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Duplo, Yele Oyekola, said, “Despite various challenges, the future of B2B payments in Africa is set for dynamic growth and innovation, signalling a new era of opportunities and expansion for the continent’s business ecosystem.
“The opportunity to automate accounts payable and receivable and transform other aspects of the B2B payments process offers great potential to reduce payment delays, enhance cash flow and drive growth for businesses across the continent. The increased adoption of digital solutions also implies a shift in workplace dynamics and positions finance professionals to add more value to their organisations.
He noted that the firm was looking forward to playing a major role in the realisation of those opportunities and the delivery of technology solutions to support growth for businesses in Africa.
According to the firm, the speed of processing invoices is faster in South Africa (39.93 per cent), with Nigeria (39.74 per cent) closely behind.
It added, “Africa’s B2B payment sector represents a significant, yet largely untapped opportunity. This is partly due to the complexity and larger transaction volumes associated with B2B payments.
“According to the World Bank, the continent’s share of the global B2B payment opportunity stands at $1.5tn. However, despite this promising potential, many businesses grapple with considerable payment delays and other issues with their payment processes that negatively impact their cash flow and slow their growth.
It mentioned that in recent years, digital payment solutions had eased many of those challenges, but there remained a number of issues to be addressed in the journey of easing the flow of money between businesses in Africa.