Valentine Obi – NIGERIA’S ICT TOP10

Founder and Managing Director/CEO, Etranzact International Plc

Mr. Valentine Obi, founder and managing director/CEO, Etranzact International Plc, discovered a great opportunity in Nigeria’s cash-based economy. Moving a vast amount of cash in the system is expensive and insecure and therefore not sustainable. He knew what to do, which was to create a platform that could enable Nigerians transact business electronically and he stepped out to do so.

In 2003, he launched the company and started operations as a pay outlet to Econet Wireless (now Airtel) and Lagos State Water Corporation.With technological advancement and customer sophisticationin the advent of GSM technology, the need arose for convenient methods of processing transactions and making payments.

Obi saw the need to deploy his mobile payment solutions to banks and non-bank financial institutions and to optimize telecommunication services to provide a robust package to customers. This led to the introduction ofhis company’s award winning, multi application electronic payment platformto pioneer theelectronic commerce in Nigeria. This provides the enabling technology for bank customers to make banking transactions on mobile phones.

Etranzact Internationalhas evolved into a brand with a global reach,offering products that cut across virtually all aspects of the e-payment space – ATM, internet connectivity, POS, and mobile money. It has acquired extensive knowledge of switching and transaction processing systems from online remittances to e-dividend payment to web payments.The company currently has operations in five other African countries and the United Kingdom.It is still expanding operations to other countries in the world.

The company has developed a set of payment and integration interfaces for the telecommunications industry. With the interface, subscribers are able to make payments for telephone bills online throughvarious channels  – GSM operators, Internet, POS, ATM, etc. The service incorporates a bank outlet that enables non-eTranzact subscribers to make payments for prepaid and postpaid bills.

The company offers an automated form of cash collection for businessesas a solution to the risks, costs and inconveniences of cash handling.The automated payment collection process is designed to enable organisations achieve faster and easier payment collection from customers as all payments flowing in areautomatically tracked,producing accurate records of payments for purchases or for bills.

Etranzactalso powers electronic payments using POS terminals, which enables organisations to make collections at various branch locations through POS machines.  This makes purchases of goods and services convenient and eliminates the need to carry cash for both buyers and sellers. It also offers e-commerce solution that enables organizations to receive payment via the websiteby integrating the eTranzactWebConnect API onto the website. Customers can then visit the company website and make payments conveniently.

The company also provides an online real-time e-payment solution that meets bulk payment requirements of organisations. This solution eliminates the costs and delays associated with issuing cheques for payment of suppliers and staff salaries.

It has developed a WebAccessplatform that creates access to bank accounts on online-real time basis, making it easy to do banking at one’s convenience. The service is available globally over a secure internet connection. It makes it possible to navigate the system, leveraging on a single web interface to manage multiple bank accounts. Bank customers can aggregate all their accounts from different banks into one secure web interface under the company’s web access platform.

The company offers m-commerce solutions that enable payments via the mobile phone. It is amobile banking application that can be used by all networks and can interface with third party payment schemes.The company has also developed a payoutlet service that enables organisations to receive cash/cheque payments through any branch of all the banks on the eTranzact network.

As the economic society grows in complexity, extensive changes to traditional banking services are equally taking place. Obi is riding at the top of the changing society to create the service delivery infrastructures that innovative players need to get ahead of the competition.  He has positioned Etranzact as a dependable provider of technology that banks need to serve rapidly advancing financial markets.

ETranzact,holds a firm promise to banks –to make available all functionality necessary products and solutions they need to address key areas of operations and customer servicewith the level of efficiency thatenhances competitive advantage. In line with industry standard and regulation, the company assures of its upgraded platforms to meet the various requirements for processing of transactions from a chip and pin card.

For government and public sector agencies, the company has also built service platforms to meet their e-payment requirements.From e-ID cards to e-public transport cards to e-payment solutions and more, Obi has positioned his company for a strategicrolein the rapidly evolving electronic transactions in the public sector.

He is moving his company’s ICT solutions towards a cardless future with the development of an alternative payment optionthat accesses bank accounts through multiple channels – Web, Mobile, and USSD. The payment mechanism is designed for anyone who owns a bank account and provides opportunity to make paymentsanywhere.