ADVERTORIAL | Start Up Companies Opt for Digital Payment Solutions
ADVERTORIAL | MC Systems
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the loss of jobs; however, it has also presented business opportunities for some budding entrepreneurs, who are using the convenience of digital payment solutions to facilitate their business.
Twenty-nine year-old Lemar James and 28 year-old Daren Miller are two such entrepreneurs, who started a freight-forwarding company, BluShip Cargo and Freight, to satisfy growing consumer needs, through the full range of air, sea and ground transportation.
“The pandemic has influenced more businesses to go digital, and far more consumers are also purchasing items online, due to restrictions posed by the pandemic,” Miller explains.
“Therefore, we have sought to extend our passion for good service and innovation, to connect more Jamaicans with their favourite retail outlets all over the world, which is less expensive for consumers and certainly more convenient,” he explained.
The young entrepreneurs seized the opportunity shortly after the pandemic emerged, and formally began operations in July.
“We pride ourselves in the offer of unmatched customer service, value for money, speed and innovation, such as order tracking and cashless payments. Notwithstanding, we offer a personal service; treating every customer as an individual, not some obscure number in a system,” he related.
He also shared that the company will be onboarding a payment deferral programme in 2021, for Jamaican civil servants.
The entrepreneurs have also been using technology for their payment solutions.
“We currently have a card machine, and we encourage customers to make card payments. There tends to be a spike in crime during the Christmas season and such technologies present a useful solution for persons who may otherwise, have to travel with wads of cash. Therefore, we prefer to do card transactions; and we are finalizing the implementation of an online payment option, to make payment and deliveries much more seamless for all our customers,” James informed.
Brian Plummer, another entrepreneur, who has capitalised on the COVID-19 pandemic, commenced his delivery company, Delivery Dash Shopper, following the restrictions implemented by the government to contain the spread of the virus. His service involves purchasing groceries for his customers and delivering it to their door step.
Plummer, who operates in Portmore, St Catherine, said that he was doing regular fast-food delivery prior to COVID-19; and decided to develop another aspect to that business.
“The idea was there before, however, at the onset of COVID-19, we decided to branch out into that aspect of our business,” he said, explaining that customers are just warming up to the idea of personalised grocery shopping.
He informed that the demand is growing, and he anticipates that it will expand, especially as it draws closer to the Christmas season.
Brian has also opted to use an electronic payment solution, to facilitate payments from his customers.
“We have a card machine or Point of Sale (POS). We also do bank transfers, and we will be moving into online payment solutions,” he said.
Salomie Lyle-Scott, senior manager in-charge of technology consulting at MC Systems, the technology company of The Jamaica National Group said that online payment options, or Point of Sale payment options, are ideal solutions for startup companies.
“Digital payment options provide significant benefits to both entrepreneurs and the country, by bringing more people into the formal financial system. With the rapid growth of mobile technologies and cellphone ownership digital payments can be facilitated using mobile point-of-sale or mPOS in developing countries, such as Jamaica. Shifting from cash to digital payments offers high potential payoffs for entrepreneurs worldwide,” she pointed out.
Lyle-Scott said that the benefits of digital payments are numerous, as it increases efficiency and generates higher profits.
“When an entrepreneur can easily track his or her daily sales through digital payments, that person can better manage inventories and increase their profit margins. Participating in e-commerce, through digital payments, can also broaden an entrepreneur’s client base and visibility, allowing their business to grow beyond a subsistence undertaking,” she explained.
The senior manager noted that digital payments can also encourage formalisation of businesses. She also affirmed that digital payments are convenient for both the customer and entrepreneurs.
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