Retailers Culture and Attitudinal Barriers Towards the Use of Enaira
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Globalization and digitization have revolutionized how businesses operate and competes in the marketplace in the 21st century. Information and communication technology (ICT) is the lifeblood of this change (Onyeaghala & Anele, 2017). Thus, innovations and advancements in technology have led to large and continual changes in the retail sector, since ICT has become vital for the operations of retail outlets and substantially influenced their success in developing and developed nations (Sajuyigbe & Alabi, 2015).
One of the important changes engineered by technology advancement is the transfer from a physical payment system to a digital payment system, which brought about the cashless policy. In light of this, there has been an emergence and swift expansion of several digital currencies. According to Charles (2018), digital currency is a digital representation of either virtual currency (non-fiat) or e-money (fiat) and so is commonly used interchangeably with the word virtual currency. Furthermore, any cash, money, or money-like asset that is largely handled, saved, or traded via digital networks, notably the internet, is referred to as digital currency (digital money, electronic money, or electronic currency). Digital currencies have features comparable to traditional currencies but, unlike currencies with printed notes or minted coins, they do not have a physical form (Franco 2015). This lack of physical form allows immediate transactions over the internet and avoids the cost of distributing notes and coins (Franco 2015).
The emergence of digital currencies has opened up a new range of opportunities that have the potential to support Nigeria’s economic growth and to position Nigeria as part of the market leaders in the future development of this technology (SERC 2015). With several governments embracing digital currency dispensation because of its significant impact, Nigeria has likewise have established a central bank digital currency (CBDC) dubbed eNaira, being the first in Africa.
Nigeria’s digital currency, eNaira, is a digital legal tender that shares the same value as the physical Naira, and which must be recognized for legal transactions in the nation. E-Naira would serve as a wallet against which users can hold current monies in their bank accounts, while organizations can carry out transactions through the platform (SearchNGR, 2021).
With this new development, there have been concerns about how the implementation, acceptance, and usability of the eNaira platform will be affected in rural areas, due to the fact that most retailers in rural communities are not properly educated, have a low level of exposure, and have a negative attitude towards internet-related transactions. In the light of this, Ayomide (2021) claimed that most retailers that operate in kiosks, stores, and little shops in rural regions lack appropriate understanding and awareness of the new transition. This is due to the fact that the majority of retailers are illiterates, school dropouts, etc., whose level of exposure is low and, as such, are not familiar with digital operations and services. Thus, it is upon this perspective, this study attempts to evaluate retailers’ culture and attitudinal barriers towards the use of eNaira.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Retail enterprises have particularly been impacted by technology advancements that have affected their operations. As a result, retailers need to be aware of technological advances and have to manage related obstacles as well as opportunities in order to stay competitive in the digital retail industry (Sorescu, 2011).
From the ongoing, there has been an evolution of digital payment system with the use of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, litecoin, ethereum, binance, polkadot, etc. This has impacted the medium of payment of retailers all over the globe. A recent development of this kind in Africa is the eNaira platform designed to aid customers and businesses reduce or minimize some of the challenges inherent in the settlement and payment process (Nwoke, 2021). However, there have been questions raised regarding how the eNaira digital system would be accepted, accessed, and utilized by retailers in Nigeria, particularly those living in rural places. On this backdrop, the researcher underlined that most retailers that either operate in the open air marketplaces, kiosks, street shops, roadside stores, etc. are not highly exposed as illiterates are prominent among them. As a result, their knowledge and attitude towards internet related operations are poor. Many of them are accustomed to the physical exchange of goods for money, and perceive that the e-payment system is not genuine and dependable. They have not recognized the benefits of the eNaira yet, and their attitude towards digital technologies is poor. Hence, the ongoing appears to be a barrier against the adoption of the eNaira platform among retail businesses in Nigeria.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE PROBLEM
The general aim of this study is to examine the retailers’ culture and attitudinal barriers towards the use of eNaira. Specifically, the study is set to:
- To determine if the eNaira will have any significant effect on the day-to-day business operations of retailers,
- Determine the extent to which retailers are accustomed to the use of physical cash in running business transactions.
- Determine whether the literacy level of retailers will significantly influence the use of eNaira in carrying out business transactions.
1.4 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
The following statement will be validated in the course of this study through the use of the Chi-square statistical tool at a 0.05 significant level.
H01: The eNaira platform will have no significant effect on the day-to-day business operations of retailers.
H02: The extent to which retailers are accustomed to the use of physical cash in running business transactions is low.
H03: The literacy level of retailers will not significantly influence the use of eNaira in carrying out business transactions.
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
Like other studies of this nature, this study will be immensely useful to retailers in Nigeria, the Centre Bank of Nigeria, as well as researchers and students.
To retail business owners, this study will first enlighten them on the development of the eNaira as the majority of retailers in Nigeria, most importantly those in rural areas, do not understand digital development like this. This may be due to their literacy level as well as their exposure to modern life. The study will help orientate them on the advantages obtainable through the use of eNaira and the need for adopting eNaira in running their business transactions.
To CBN, the result of this study will serve as a set of feedback information revealing the possible barriers which may thwart the objective of creating the eNaira platform, and hence the need to make the necessary provisions to ensure the smooth running of the platform.
To researchers and students, the study will serve as a source of information when carrying out research on a related topic.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study, from a general point of view, examines retailers’ culture and attitudinal barriers towards the use of eNaira. To achieve this, the study will specifically focus on determining if the eNaira will have any significant effect on the day-to-day business operations of retailers, determining the extent to which retailers are accustomed to the use of physical cash in running business transactions, and determining whether the literacy level of retailers will significantly influence the use of eNaira in carrying out business transactions. Hence, the respondents for this study will be obtained from selected retailers in Ijabo Ode.
1.7. LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
In the course of carrying out this study, the researcher experienced some constraints, which included time constraints, financial constraints, language barriers, and the attitude of the respondents.
In addition, there was the element of researcher bias. Here, the researcher possessed some biases that may have been reflected in the way the data was collected, the type of people interviewed or sampled, and how the data gathered was interpreted thereafter. The potential for all this to influence the findings and conclusions could not be downplayed.
More so, the findings of this study are limited to the sample population in the study area, hence they may not be suitable for use in comparison to other schools, local governments, states, and other countries in the world.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Retailer: This is an individual or an entity who is the last in the channel of distribution, hence sells in units or little quantities to final consumers.
Literacy: This refers the educational level of retailers
Digital Currency: This term is used in referring any tender considered valid for online transactions.
eNaira: This is a digital currency developed for the Nigerian currency ‘Naira’.
Ayomide (2021): Rural communities and the operations of Nigeria digital currency in small scale businesses.
Charles (2018).The Cripto-Currency: Bitcoin and Its Mysterious Inventor.
Franco (2015). Understanding bitcoin, Cryptography engineering and economics.
Nwoke, (2021) “How digital currency can transform the world.
Onyeaghala, O. H. & Anele, C.A (2017). Globalization: Effects on Small-Scale Business Development in Nigeria. International Journal of Economics, Commerce and Management.
Sajuyigbe, A.S & Alabi, E. (2015). Impact of Information and Communication Technology in Selected Small and Medium Enterprises.
SERC (2015); The economics of digital currencies
Sorescu, (2011); The problems and prospects of digital currencies in small and medium scale business sector.