Diamond Bank, Microsoft Empower 35 Million SMEs


Over 35 million Small and Medium Enterprises in the country, in 2017, will be empowered with Diamond Bank Mobile Point of Sales, sequel to the collaboration between Diamond Bank and Microsoft on SMEs growth.

The Head, Emerging Business, Diamond Bank, Njideka Esomeju, said the solution would enhance business productivity among SMEs in the country.

“We need to get SMEs to move online, which is the next level of business, and to learn how to maximise the use of their computers to improve their business efficiency,” Esomeju said.

She also said, “At Diamond Bank, our slogan is ‘Beyond Banking’ and we have fully gone beyond the initial ways where customers had to go into the banking hall to deposit, withdraw or transact some forms of business.

“We have introduced solutions that empower small businesses to move to the next level, which is about leveraging technology for business efficiency.”

Esomeju said that the Diamond MPoS could be operated offline and online, with and without connectivity.

“If there is difficulty in Internet connectivity, our MPoS will only record the transaction, store it and effect it when connectivity is restored, and there is no limit to the daily amount of financial transactions that could be carried out by SMEs on the Diamond MPoS,” she said.

“We are partnering Microsoft on its Office 365 small business solution to boost SME business. The Microsoft solution will enhance communication among SME staff. We are also partnering Enterprise Development Centre because they also support SMEs,” she added.

While speaking on the value that Microsoft brought to SMEs, the Marketing and Communications Lead, Microsoft Nigeria, Edmond Idokoko, said that the company’s mantra was to enable individuals and organisations to achieve more in the business by leveraging Microsoft technology solutions.

“We are bringing value to SMEs by collaborating with Diamond Bank on SME growth. For instance, we are offering our Office 365 technology solution free of charge to SMEs for a period of six months, after which the SME can begin monthly subscription on the solution.

“We are using Nigeria as a pilot market, from where we will move to other regions and countries to also support SMEs. The focus is on Nigeria because Nigeria falls within the emerging market. Again, Nigeria is a strategic market for Microsoft, because of its large population size, as well as the important role it plays in the African market,” Idokoko said.

Speaking on the impact of Microsoft solution on SMEs busyness, he said, “SMEs are challenged by a number of things, which range from environmental factors to funding and access to funding and technology solutions. So, Microsoft can enable SMEs to overcome most of their challenges.”

He said, “The technology solution that we are offering SMEs for free will actually help them grow their business and have enough capital base to begin business expansion, thereby creating job opportunities for people.”

According to him, the Office 365 solution for small businesses will no doubt enhance growth among SMEs.

“It comes with features like Microsoft word, power point, excel, communication app, among others. Through the communication app, SMEs can make calls to customers and have good business interaction with their esteemed customers, from any location within the country or from anywhere within the entire globe.

“It also comes with share point, which allows customers to upload a file or document to the cloud. The good thing about share point is that it gives access to anyone from anywhere to download the document.

“The solution also comes with one terabyte of storage, which allows SMEs to operate without a storage server, thereby reducing the cost of server for doing business,” Idokoko said.

He added, “The beauty of the solution is that if all contacts are wiped out from a device or mobile phone, as long as the data were stored in the cloud, the customer could retrieve all data without suffering any loss.

“SMEs need all these kinds of support to grow their business and that is what Microsoft is bringing to the table in its collaboration with Diamond Bank on SME growth.”