A Covid-19 Game Changer - Business Media MAGS

Sunday Times Franchising PR

A Covid-19 Game Changer

How Nedbank is helping transform the franchising industry.

By: Prithivan Pillay, Head of Client Value Propositions at Nedbank

Franchises have long earned their keep through brick-and-mortar operations built on attracting customers to come in, fill up, gather, mingle and spend money. But Covid-19 and the national lockdown have changed that forever, forcing not only the franchising industry but all businesses to transform and embrace technology even more.

This transformation is happening at an astonishing pace as franchisors and franchisees across the country continue to look for new ways to grow their business networks while reducing pressure and risk.

There have been several key developments and certain trends are starting to take shape as we embark on another journey of discovery and change.

Growth of the cashless society

As stores, restaurants and other merchants opened their doors again following lockdown restrictions, and amid fears of touching payments devices or PIN pads, we saw a big spike in contactless payments as businesses aimed to give consumers a much-needed sense of comfort and reassurance.

Super apps help do business differently

The continued evolution of the mobile device as the ultimate shopping and lifestyle companion is seeing the rise of the super app – the all-encompassing, on-demand, retail-as-a-service ecosystem in the palm of consumers’ hands. The latest innovation from Nedbank, Avo, is such a super app, enabling consumers, franchises and businesses to trade differently in these trying times.

With Avo, consumers and businesses can transact securely on a single platform for their daily needs. Whether you need home services or groceries, feel like takeaways, or are looking for great tech deals, your next family holiday destination, entertainment options or security solutions, Avo offers these and more.

You can access this platform easily via an app on iOS, Android or PWA (progressive web application), or via the Nedbank Money app.

A changing business model

I believe that Covid-19 has forced franchisers to rethink their business models and adapt to alternative digital and online service models, and with the right investments and strategies, franchisors will not only survive but thrive.

Changing consumer behaviour and expectations mean that businesses have to do more to deliver quality customer experiences without compromising any aspect of the service. Digitally ‘native’ franchises – those businesses that are digital first by design – will be better able to offer the services customers want in the way they want.

This is where having a banking partner who understands your business pain points is crucial – be it by helping with innovative solutions to address operational challenges, providing flexible finance solutions or connecting you to e-commerce platforms. Our e-commerce platforms enable our Business Banking clients to operate electronically, offering instore and online shopping solutions through QR code acceptance. Through partnering with our clients and following a holistic approach, our flexible financing options can assist them in achieving their business aspirations.’

We understand that business owners need a financial partner who can help them see the bigger picture and navigate challenges while unlocking growth. Our dedicated business managers are here to offer much-needed support during these tough times. Don’t wait – email us at franchising@nedbank.co.za to find out how we can help you.

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