Finance Indaba 2016: Scale up your business with Sureswipe

"Sureswipe champions entrepreneurial growth by ensuring that we can provide accessible and affordable payment solutions that add value and sustainability to their business," says Paul Kent, MD of Sureswipe, a silver partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 on 13 and 14 October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

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With the event around the corner, we will be chatting to all the Indaba partners, asking them why they are joining the event and what their most important message for finance professionals is.

Do you want to hear more about the way Sureswipe uses technology to address scalability? Do you want to be informed about the latest and greatest in finance? Then don't miss the Finance Indaba Africa 2016.

Why will you be present at the Finance Indaba?
"Being present at the Finance Indaba creates a platform to meet like-minded individuals from across the continent. I'm particularly interested to meeting some of the continent's Fintech Innovators."

What will you be talking about?
"I will be talking about building for scale. Today's business models rely on scale and while technology provides scalable products, it is often the business itself that needs to scale. I will share the learnings from Sureswipe and how we are approaching and making use of technology internally to address scalability and the impact it has on our customers. The importance of building distribution networks, understanding service requirements and online vs physical presence."

What are the challenges you can help finance professionals/firms/consumers with in 2016?
"Access to services is problematic, when we consider payment acceptance less than 10% of transactions in Africa are electronic, in South Africa, it is closer to 40% of transactions. With close to 100 million cards issued, the problem of adoption is not cards in circulation, but acceptance points. We are focusing on ways to bring easy and accessible products to independent retailers irrespective of their size. and offerings that consumers and entrepreneurs may not be afforded by other providers in the industry. How do you scale business to ensure that businesses and firms become exponential organisations of the future? What and how should businesses look to their value chain to allow for efficiencies that ultimately allow for a simple and hassle-free end user/customer experience?

How does Sureswipe "champion entrepreneurial growth"?
"When we first entered the market in 2008, merchant fees were astronomically high and service levels shockingly low. Merchants would wait in excess of 30 days for the installation on a card machine and fees in excess of 5% were common.

"We made a difference by providing access to superior services and a lower price. We are now moving into a new area where based on your card machine, transactional information or transactional flows we are adding value to the clients and helping them do better business."

What are the keys to great customer service?
"Building and having a client relationship with an understanding of your client. I'm from a family of retailers growing up in my grandfather's shop and my wife owns retail stores, so I get a deep understanding of the challenges facing independent retailers. Next is people, do we have the right people with the right attitude who can solve problems and connect with customers. I'm not only talking about employees in the service centre but employees across the organisation. People need to be empathetic, really care and be proud of the organisation and the service they provide. In return the organisation should provide the right tools and the right level of autonomy or empowerment for employees to make decisions that impact customer service. Then we have consistency, we often get caught up in trying to WOW a customer. The problem with this approach is it is usually inconsistent. The client has a WOW experience one day and a poor experience the next. Our approach has been to provide consistent service at every touch point along the customer journey. Finally, communication; communicate to customers, especially when it is bad news and be brave and admit to your mistakes. Customers usually understand and appreciate the honesty."