The COVID-19 pandemic, with its catastrophic effects, has not spared the economies of the various countries as it sweeps across the globe.
To survive this disastrous crisis that initially threatened to leave many businesses shutdown, business owners have taken on new models to adapt to the unprecedented situation.
A case in point are the businesses that were previously not online but have now acquired an online presence in order to reach and serve their clients. This has seen more businesses become cloud enabled, offer flexibility to their workforces as well as adopt digital systems to support their work.
In a Webinar that was held recently, Dennis Musinguzi, the senior manager, products and services at MTN Uganda, says although businesses suffered a lot at the beginning of the COVID-19 lockdown, they have ensured their continuity by going digital and serving their customers through digital channels.
"Fresh food markets suffered the most during lockdown. However, they went digital and started doing home deliveries. They are now in business," Musinguzi said.
Christopher Ssali, the acting general manager mobile financial services at MTN Liberia, noted that there has been an observed change in the payment habits over the last months as people are opting for contactless payment options more than before.
"COVID-19 brings a new opportunity; previously more people felt more secure with cash. But after the pandemic, more people feel secure with payment options such as Mobile Money," Ssali said, noting that Mobile Money is a new safer currency for payment of both goods and services and more people are appreciating Mobile Money as a new currency.
Ssali further noted that the paradigm shift in the forms of payment has led to a Mobile Money evolution and as such, significantly reduce the need to use cash in the Value chain.
In resonance with Ssali, Stone Atwine, the Chief Executive Officer of Eversend, noted that the increase in mobile money usage has kept businesses afloat by enabling them to transact during the pandemic.
Borrowing credence from his company, Atwine said that companies should embrace new operational models in order to survive the adverse effects of the pandemic.
"We are trying to do things that have not been done yet. For instance we are now doing cross boarder ecommerce, changing our product designs to include items such as donations and causes to help people raise funds for specific causes especially during these hard times," Atwine said.