Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) is now at the forefront of polices and actions as organisations and stakeholders look to build trust and accountability, not only with investors, but also staff and clients. The strength of this foundation lies in ensuring that they are transparent from a corporate level, and ensure their actions can benefit and support society.
By delivering sustained policies to achieve this, global organisations can build a trustworthy brand, with long-term sustainability and competitiveness amongst its peers.
COP 21 has shown how easy it is, at a country level, to set big targets with deadlines in the future. However, at a corporate level a top down approach with clearly defined and achievable deliverables can quickly align all parties to the goals set.
Africa and the finance sector are not immune to this, and investors are already juggling the need to seek out solid, long term investments with the need to balance their ESG commitments. Investment fund that invested traditionally into mining, and now looking for long term, green renewable energy projects, not only to align themselves with the new demand from investors, but to satisfy the new lending mandates set by bankers.
Payments are not immune to the new ESG criteria, and organisations making payments into Africa should consider the following:
- How efficiently are you making payments?
- Are you making payments on an adhoc basis that may pass through a series of correspondent banks, incurring fees as payments moves along the network?
- Would you prefer to bulk-upload your payments via a single network, and have them credited directly through the local in-country African banking networks free of charge?
- Do you offer your employees different channels to receive their salary? (If they have to operate a local bank account to receive their money, this is not an ideal solution.)
- Would you like a solution that allows payments to go directly to employees’ mobile wallets? It would negate the need for them to operate a local bank account, and you, as the organisation, would be creating local wealth for the employee.
Organisations operating in Africa cannot afford to downplay the importance of ESG, and payment solutions are available to support these initiatives.