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Covid-19: “Thinking digital” is unavoidable with social distance

Michel Pedro

Manager

The digital transformation of banking allows greater mobility in operations, automation of transactional flows, greater efficiency in processes and greater transactional capacity. In Angola, however, digital payment tools and means still do not meet the expectations of economic agents. In Covid-19, it is imperative to change the situation in our country.

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Economic agents, especially banks, need to think more and more digitally in order to accelerate the process of digitalization of means of payment in the country, especially at a time when the prevention measures for Covid-19 are called for. The expectation is that the conditions for the full functioning of e-commerce in Angola will be created, supported by a local solution.

The moment is also opportune to formalize the informal market and to bank several economic agents that operate outside the financial system. If we consider that physical money is also a means of transmitting several evils, we can, likewise, affirm that it is not very functional in the face of the technological revolution and the difficult moment we are experiencing today.

The fact that online payments are in an embryonic stage in Angola conditions the development of digital businesses. My criticism is also the fact that many economic agents are prevented from carrying out certain transactions because they are not domiciled in specific banks, as not all banking institutions have online payment solutions for services.

This limitation does not dynamize the economy at all and, on the contrary, users end up dependent on these institutions. So I suggest that payment tools are of national and online utility, that is, open to indefinite customers, and can function as a prepaid credit card, which allows you to make payments online. But I must also stress that the recent EMIS service, MulticaixaExpress is a good substitute for ATMs because it allows 90% of ATM operations to be carried out. It is just not possible to have money directly from your mobile phone.

After the proliferation of Covid-19, States, companies and families were forced to make their lives more efficient, opting for greater optimization of the means with which they carry out the most diverse daily tasks, hence the success of initiatives of startups and companies that want to be transformed. I believe that due to this problem that plagues the whole world, the Coronavirus, the levels of digital transactions will increase.

With social confinement, the demand for services and products via digital records a considerable number and more means and more initiatives have emerged to be implemented to diversify sales of services and products and, consequently, payment solutions. Today, online classes in real time, for example, with special emphasis given to PetroShore, are a reality that allow citizens to live close to the normal model.

But there is a need to mitigate the potential risks that online shopping and sales pose, mainly due to the sensitivity of financial services. It should be noted that PetroShore, in April, carried out free training actions aimed at instructing Internet users to remain safe on the Internet.

Regarding the hypothesis that new bank payment solutions and money transfers could boost the digital market, services still do not have a major impact on the business of many economic agents, as there is still resistance in the use of payment solutions, but I believe that the environment can change the picture quickly.

Opinion of
Michel Pedro