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31.05.2019 Technology

Why Rural Inhabitants Need to Embrace Digital Payments

By Adeniyi Ogunfowoke
Why Rural Inhabitants Need to Embrace Digital Payments

The economy of Nigeria's countrysides and hinterlands is still cash-based due to no fault of anyone. In fact, there are still some rural communities in this country that still transact business using the trade by barter method. A recent report by the News Agency of Nigeria says that the Esuk Mba community market in Akpabuyo Local Government Area of Cross River is still practising trade by barter as a means of exchange for food items since it was established in 1956.

This simply reveals that there is still so much work to be done to ensure that the inhabitants of rural Nigeria embrace digital payments method. However, this does not mean that efforts are not being made to promote digital payments. For example, today some fintech companies have gone ahead to establish small kiosk in rural communities in order to boost financial inclusion. This kiosk has made it possible for people to receive and transfer money for a small fee and perform other e-transactions.

When it comes to shopping online, rural dwellers still prefer to pay with cash. However, with the incentives and topnotch security offered by Jumia Pay, the payment gateway of Jumia, rural shoppers are growing confident about making payment online. This, in one way or the other, is contributing to the need to ensure that the entire Nigeria economy becomes cashless. There are a whole lot more other reasons to push digital payments in rural areas. Read on to know more.

Lower risk
If stolen, it is easy to block a debit card or mobile wallet remotely, but it’s impossible to get your cash back. In that sense, the digital option offers lots more security. There is no reason for you to carry millions of naira around when you have a pocket or wallet size card which you can use to transact business at any time of the day. And with smartphone prices dropping according to the Nigeria Mobile Report published by Jumia, more people in the rural areas will be able to afford them.

Convenience
The ease of conducting financial transactions is probably the biggest motivator to go digital. You will no longer need to carry wads of cash, plastic cards, or even queue up for ATM withdrawals. It’s also a safer and easier spending option when you are travelling. It will be especially useful in case of emergencies, say. You have the freedom to transact whenever and wherever you want. You don’t have to be physically present to conduct a transaction or be forced.

Tracking expenses
If all transactions are on record, it will be very easy for people to keep track of their spending. This is impossible to do in a cash-based economy where a paper is used to record almost every transaction. But with digital payments, you only need your username and password to log in and you will be viewing your expenses history in a matter of seconds.

Discounts
There are so many rewards for performing digital transactions. It’s, therefore, a good time to increase your savings if you take advantage of these. For instance, you’ll get 5% cash back when you pay for your subscription using Jumia One . It is all about being smart while shopping online.

Budget discipline
The written record will help you keep tabs on your spending and this will result in better budgeting. Various apps and tools will help people analyse their spending patterns and throw up good insights over a couple of years. Controlled spending could also result in higher investing. If the same amount of cash does not flow back into circulation and people continue to use mobile wallets and cards, it is also likely to save more by cutting down on small expenses.

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