Ecobank and iPay Solutions Ltd with support from the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) have launched a new digital solution for small businesses – Digistore

The initiative is aimed at empowering Micro, Small, and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) in Ghana to maximize sales by marketing and selling their products in a digital and cashless manner. 

The service will provide an enhancement to the bank’s Digi Banking Pack for MSMEs. 

Ecobank as part of efforts to support and provide convenient banking solutions to MSMEs during the covid-19 pandemic period is leveraging strategic partnerships and its digital offerings to ensure MSMEs remain operational and are sustained. 

Digistore enables businesses to create their own online store to sell their products, integrate their social media channels, and sell offline on mobile via a unique USSD shop or business code.

It will also enable them to receive contactless payments from any bank account, bank card, and all mobile money wallets with EcobankPay GhQR.

Again, businesses can effectively manage their products, stock levels, and inventory across their online shop, social media channels, and in their shop.

Digistore will also make way for businesses to access a pick and delivery service to deliver their product to their customers’ doorstep.

Welcoming guests to the launch, which was held on September 29, the Managing Director of Ecobank Ghana and Regional Executive for Anglophone West Africa, Daniel Sackey said Ecobank understands the need for partnership with Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises.

“For us at Ecobank, we do recognize the need for MSMEs to have a financial partner who understands their current challenges and is committed to delivering the best quality solutions to clients,” he said. 

“This underpins our collaboration with iPay Solutions Limited. This new Digistore initiative is, consequently, part of our continuous commitment to the growth of our clients’ businesses and to build stronger relationships across the MSME business segment,” he explained.

The Group Executive, Commercial Banking, Josephine Anan-Ankomah, said, “As a Pan-African bank, we believe it is our responsibility to help MSMEs sustain and grow their businesses further, towards contributing to the economic and social development of our economies.” 

She added that “it is in this spirit that Ecobank Ghana Limited is introducing the Digistore to help MSMEs become resilient and prepared to take advantage of new market opportunities in these difficult times.”

According to the Commercial Manager of iPay Solutions Ltd, Kwadwo Lartey, “iPay is dedicated to providing relevant solutions to all types of businesses and in the light of the covid-19 pandemic, it has become critical to find not only convenient, but safer ways for businesses to operate and succeed. 

In partnership with Ecobank, we are committed to the recovery and growth of MSMEs with the Digistore solution,” he said.

On her part, the Regional Digital Hub Manager at UNCDF, Sabine Mensah

noted that “Digistore is one of the seven solutions selected in a process UNCDF launched last April to identify and support digital solutions for the resilience of MSMEs in Benin, Ghana, Senegal, and Togo. 

Digistore brings a tangible response to the challenges MSMEs face today. Banks and Fintechs have a critical role to play here and we are looking forward to seeing this solution at work for MSMEs in Ghana,” she added.

The Executive Director of the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI), Mrs Kosi Yankey – Ayeh, indicated that the covid-19 pandemic has amplified the Governments call to digitise the economy which has been championed by the vice president of the republic. 

She said, “In a post covid society, MSMEs now should understand that some consumers both local and international will find it more convenient to shop from their own homes because it offers the flexibility for both businesses and consumers.

According to her, the Digistore will leverage on NBSSI’s access to the market component being implemented under all its programmes that are building around digitized tools to support MSMEs, to facilitate their access to local and regional markets, and to support their participation in the African Continental Free Trade Area. 

“We will work together with all the partners involved to ensure the success of this platform,” the Executive Director said.