KAMPALA — The coronavirus isn’t just a minor inconvenience for some. Its growing impact is causing financial hardship for millions of people.
With businesses closing, layoffs and unpaid leave could mean you’re unable to afford your regular bills. During this time, many homegrown e- commerce, company, Xente is offering temporary relief and assistance so you don’t fall behind on payments.
And if you’re unable to stay current, there are programs in place to make sure you don’t face unnecessary fees, company has announced.
If your finance processes rely on cash and manual paper work for example handling petty cash in the office, paying workers with cash, shopping from physical stores for office supplies with cash, Allan Rwakatungu, Chief Executive Officer at Xente said: “we can help you quickly shift to modern digital and cashless processes.”
He added: “For any business that wants to eliminate manual and cash processes in their business, we will assign a customer success manager to help you get started free of charge.”
The initiative by Xente which is part of a broader COVID-19 response targets Buy Uganda, Build Uganda (BUBU) businesses.
For Micro Merchants, he said, Xente has waived setup fees and that the company will not charge commission for three months.
For businesses, Rwakatungu said this is an opportunity for businesses in Africa to embrace digital and cashless process to grow sales and reduce costs.
He also noted that the positive impact of this will continue beyond the COVID-19 crisis.
“We are in a new paradigm where digital and online channels and modes are integral to continued survival versus just offline (physical, face to face, cash),” he said noting that “We have a duty to support growth of the economies in which we operate through good and bad times”.
“As we scan the impact of COVID-19 and what it means now and for the future, we believe more strongly that even in these dark times, there is an opportunity to navigate this crisis by embracing digitalization at a personal and business level”.
Governments and startups on the continent are implementing measures to shift a greater volume of payment transactions toward digital payments and away from cash — which the World Health Organization flagged as a conduit for the spread of the coronavirus.
It’s an option facilitated by the boom in fintech that’s occurred in Africa over the last decade.
By several estimates, the continent is home to the largest share of the world’s unbanked population and has a sizable number of underbanked consumers and SMEs.
But because of that, fintech — and startups focused on financial inclusion — now receive the majority of VC funding annually in Africa, according to recent data.