For large companies, digitising payments is an opportunity for a rare double-win. It means they can contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals – including reducing poverty and fostering gender equality – while doing good for the company, distributors and merchants, and consumers. Revenues can be increased through new business opportunities that leverage digitisation. This includes the ability to facilitate financing for suppliers and distributors.
Unilever’s Jaza Duka programme in Kenya is a good example. Retailers grew sales by 20% on average within the first six months, by accessing short-term working capital loans from Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB). These were based on the retailer’s digital purchasing history with Unilever. The money was used to expand product inventory and variety, increasing foot traffic to stores. Many are now looking to become KCB agents to offer banking services, providing a new source of income.
Any business that can release that kind of success is good news for everyone along the value chain. It shows that companies with large footprints and extensive value chains can really make a difference.