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The Struggling Entrepreneur: How I Got International Customers To Buy My Products With Ease — Okon Achibong

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Innovation is the new competitive edge for every business. 6 months ago, my business was at a critical phase; we were expanding. Our products had caught the eye of the international market and buyers across the world were indicating interest. Whilst this new wave of interest was long overdue, I was scared that the negative perception of Nigeria in some quarters in the international market would affect my business. My fear was not without reason, we had lost a lot of sales in the past due to this issue.

So, this time I was taking steps to ensure that the interests crystalized into sales. I engaged a PR firm in hopes that their branding efforts would help allay the fears of international buyers and drive them to patronize my business. A few months later, the branding efforts started bearing fruits.

3 months after we engaged the PR firm, we received international orders from 15 customers with 3 making full payments for their orders. This was a new dawn as I could sense better days ahead. But then an issue arose…. the remaining 12 customers were making little orders and had insisted on making payments with their credit cards due to the cost of traditional payment methods. This was a big issue because our website through which orders came in did not have a payment functionality. We had tried getting a solution a year ago but the cost of acquiring such a solution was on the high side and we had to jettison the idea. This request kept me up late at night as I wondered if this was going to be another case of poor sales. Where do I even get such a solution from within 48 hours?

The next morning, I gathered my accounts team and charged them with the responsibility of looking for a solution before the close of business. As fate would have it, one of my staff in his search stumbled on an advert online about a solution called Global Pay. Immediately, he reached out to me and we called the bank. A gentleman picked up and after exchanging pleasantries we told him of our plight and the solution we had seen.

In few words, he explained that with GlobalPaywe could receive payments from anywhere in the world with debit or credit cards.  A bit sceptical, we applied for it and the solution was set up on our website in less than 24 hours. We reached out to the remaining 12 customers advising them to visit our website to make payment. 20 minutes later, we received feedback on how seamless the payment process was much to my surprise. My accounts team reconfirmed the payments from the payment notifications and the online monitoring log and all payments were received. We dispatched their orders afterwards.

GlobalPay is not just a payment solution, it is a business saver that has eliminated major payment hassles for my business.

BUSINESS

Millionaires Emerge In UBA Savings Promo As 10 Customers Win N1m Each

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Pan African financial institution, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, has rewarded 10 of its loyal customers with a total sum of  N10m in the quarterly draws of the ongoing UBA Savings Promo.

This promo, which is held every quarter, is intended to appreciate loyal customers of the bank, who have stayed with the bank over the years,  and offers fresh opportunities for potential and intending customers to join the growing number of UBA millionaires who have in the past benefitted from several Promo.

The virtual and transparent electronic draw which was held on Friday was transmitted live via zoom and the Facebook platform in strict compliance with social distancing rules as directed by the Federal and Lagos State Government.

UBA’s Head Personal Banking, Osita Ede, who addressed participants just before the draws, said there is no better time to give back and delight customers than this challenging economic period where people need all the support, they can get to make life more meaningful.

He said, “As a bank, UBA has been rewarding customers, we have been doing this for several years now; from the Wise Savers Promo, Bumper Draws, and now this. We have been doing this to touch lives and to show appreciation to our customers to tell them we are grateful for their business. This is also an opportunity to reward them for their loyalty to the bank.

Ede added that the promo is also a way of encouraging savings in a bid towards promoting financial inclusion, as statistics show that a lot of Nigerians are still largely underbanked.

“Our key objective is to encourage our customers to save regularly. We are here to support them and encourage them to save and ultimately grow as well because we are aware that they are invaluable to all that we do;” Ede explained.

A representative of the National Regulatory Commission, Peace Ibadie, who witnessed the draws, congratulated the 10 winners and commended the bank for its efforts at rewarding loyal customers, especially in the tough economic and business environment.

“Congratulations to all the winners, I am glad to be a part of this; UBA is always transparent in their promos and we can fully attest to this. It is important that the bank is also actively encouraging the savings culture. Again, I say congratulations,” she said.

The winners who cut across all the zones of the country are Emeka Onyemauche; Ezeigbokwe Oluebube Purity; Omoniyi A Jaiyeola; Olawale Omotayo Idowu; Zaharadeen Yandaki Umar; Aliyu Yaro Bakari; Samuel Enan Esua; Joseph Eze; Deborah Folusho Adebayo and Lucia Chinyere Adim.

When contacted via their mobile phone, the winners expressed their gratitude to the bank as they said the winnings will go a long way in meeting their pressing needs, especially in these trying times.

One of the winners, Samuel Enan Esan, who was delighted at the news that he just won N1m, was full of praises. “Thank you UBA,” he stated.

Aliyu Yaro Bakari. who was extremely excited at the news, said, “Oh I am very happy, UBA is the best, you are the best, thank you very much,” he remarked when he learnt he was also one of the beneficiaries of N1m.

To qualify for the promo, new and existing customers of the bank are expected to make a one-time deposit of at least N30,000; before each draw date. Savings account holders eligible for this draw include Target, Bumper, NextGen, Savings, Teens & Kiddies.

Apart from the savings promo which is held every three months, the bank also has the UBA Bumper Promo which is held monthly, where the first three winning customers are rewarded with N2m, Rent for a year at N1.2m and N500,000 respectively; with 20 others winning N100,000 each as consolation prizes.

United Bank for Africa Plc is a leading Pan-African financial institution, offering banking services to more than twenty million customers, across 1,000 business offices and customer touchpoints, in 20 African countries. With its presence in New York, London, and Paris, UBA is connecting people and businesses across Africa through retail, commercial and corporate banking, innovative cross-border payments and remittances, trade finance, and ancillary banking services.

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BUSINESS

Heritage Bank Partners Road Transport Workers On Insurance Scheme For Travelers

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Heritage Bank in partnership with the Road Transport Employee’s Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) has launched the Travelers’ Accident Insurance Scheme (TAIS) to assist road accident victims across the country.

The scheme which was launched on Friday aims to address deaths associated with the inability of travelers involved in accidents to offset hospital bills.

The Regional Executive, Abuja, and North, Heritage Bank Plc, George Okoh-Oboh, speaking at the launch of the scheme in Abuja, commended the thoughtfulness of the Association in coming up with such program to save the lives of accident victims.

He stated that the partnership would help address the road safety crisis due to the tragic loss from a road crash death or severe injury which was compounded by the harm to families, social networks, and national economies.

According to him, the majority of victims are part of the working-age population (between 15 and 64 years old). In fact, road crashes have become the #1 killer of the young worldwide.

He pledged the continued support of the bank in ensuring the success of the scheme.

Okoh-Oboh said, “At Heritage Bank, we believe in this project and we are ready to support it as it seeks to address accidents on the road.

“This project will save lives of many Nigerians, so we are not just here to see what comes in but we are here to add value and ensure that it succeeds.”

The National President of RTEAN, Musa Muhammed in his remarks said that the scheme aims at promoting the welfare of passengers while ensuring security for passengers’ property.

He explained that the scheme would provide support to passengers who may be involved in accidents at the course of their journeys.

“This scheme covers all Nigerians involved in accidents that require medical attention while on a road trip.

“This is part of an effort to assist and improve the Nigerians transport system,” he added.

According to him, the scheme will cover only parks owned and operated by members of the Road Transport Workers Association.

He further stressed the need for the government to deepen investments in road infrastructure while ensuring security along the major road.

Nicholas Tofowomo, Senator representing Ondo South Senatorial District of Ondo State at the 9th National Assembly, urged transporters to ensure that workers are properly licensed and vehicles insured.

This, he noted, would ensure the effective implementation of the scheme.

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BUSINESS

Goodbye Grobank, Hello Access Bank South Africa

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Following the completion of all regulatory procedures, Grobank Limited has been officially renamed Access Bank South Africa Limited. The deal was finalized after Access Bank’s acquisition of controlling shares in the former Grobank Limited, South Africa.

With this new development, Access Bank South Africa Limited is positioned to deliver a robust banking operation that connects key African markets.

At an official closing ceremony in Sandton on Monday, top executives of the two banks were upbeat about new opportunities for clients, noting that the Bank will continue to support all its stakeholders while opening doors to growth opportunities both in the short and long term.

CEO of Grobank, Bennie van Rooy said, “This is an extremely exciting day for the South African banking industry. Our corporate customers will now have increased access to trade finance, treasury, international payments, and loans through the wider distribution network offered by Access Bank’s presence in the key trade corridors that connect Africa to the rest of the world.

“Banking with Access Bank South Africa means greater security as well as access to more products and services through a best-in-class digital platform, and a full retail banking suite will soon be on offer.”

Herbert Wigwe, GMD/CEO of Access Bank Plc, said: “Today’s ceremony in South Africa seals our commitment to delivering our strategic aspirations of becoming Africa’s Gateway to the World, in line with our vision to be the World’s Most Respected African Bank.

“We look forward to the many opportunities our collective experience and deep understanding of the African market brings to our valued clients, and the journey ahead being one of great promise for our institution and the continent.”

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