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Web 3.0 will drive innovation, reshape industries, empower African businesses – Ebanehita

The next generation of the web, described as Web 3.0, is the future of the Internet and how it will meet the evolving needs of users. EMMANUEL EBANEHITA, chief marketing officer, Fuse Network in this interview with CALEB OJEWALE, speaks on ways Web 3 can drive innovation, especially payments in Africa (to boost financial inclusion) and its other possibilities. Excerpts:

In what ways does Web 3.0 offer new opportunities and solutions for emerging markets?

Web 3.0 extends remarkable opportunities to emerging markets. For instance, in regions where traditional banking services are scarce, Web 3.0 payments offer a lifeline for financial inclusion. It enables people to access digital financial services like micro-loans and cross-border transactions, all through their mobile devices. At Fuse Network, for instance, we partner with local businesses in emerging markets, making decentralized payment solutions accessible in areas where traditional banking has struggled to reach.

Why are businesses increasingly adopting Web 3.0 technologies, especially in the context of payments?

The world as we know it is changing at an incredibly fast-paced rate, especially with the advent of many technological innovations like Blockchain, which has redefined the way we understand and transact businesses. As a result, businesses are embracing Web 3.0 technologies in payments due to the profound transformation they offer because Web 3.0, powered by blockchain and decentralized protocols, presents an opportunity to revamp conventional payment systems.

This is because it eliminates the need for intermediaries, reducing transaction costs and enhancing security. Businesses can also create customized, user-centric payment solutions that are cost-effective and efficient, catering to the demands of modern consumers. That’s not all, because, through its enablement of peer-to-peer transactions, cross-border payments are consequently expedited, making it more accessible for businesses to tap into global markets.

Traditional payment systems come with hefty fees and delays due to intermediaries. In contrast, Web3 payments, powered by blockchain technology, dramatically reduce costs and enable instant global transactions, enhancing business cash flow and efficiency. Additionally, growing customer demand for Web3 payment solutions drives business adoption. At Fuse, we believe that this is the beginning of an innovative trend, and we are offering a platform that allows businesses to leverage this, especially in the emerging markets where we operate within Africa and across the globe.

Can you provide specific use cases or examples of how Web 3.0 payments are being employed by businesses?

Businesses are leveraging Web 3.0 payments for a myriad of use cases. A prime example is their integration into loyalty programs. Fuse Network deploys Web3 and digital collectables to revolutionize loyalty schemes. With the Fuse platform, customers can now own branded digital assets that reflect their brand loyalty, thus building deeper emotional connections. Furthermore, in the context of DeFi, Web 3.0 opens doors to decentralized lending, borrowing, and financial services, thus streamlining processes and offering an enhanced customer experience.

Web3 technologies, though nascent, are being adopted by leading businesses. The Fuse Network offers an efficient identity and payment system targeting African markets through Chromepay. Similarly, PayPal integrates cryptocurrency transactions to streamline cross-border payments and tap into new markets.

Another interesting use case of Web 3.0 payments is its enhancement and simplification of secure and effective micro-payments. As you know, micropayments are crucial for content creators, freelancers, and digital service providers. However, traditional payment systems often prove inefficient and expensive for these small transactions. Web3 payments provide an economical solution, as they facilitate fast and affordable transfers of small sums of money. This makes web3 payments highly suitable for content creators, freelancers, and digital service providers. With Fuse Network, businesses can rest assured that their technical payment-oriented needs such as microtransactions, as well as their more marketing-savvy requirements such as optimized customer loyalty programs are adequately enabled and accounted for.

Another interesting use case of Web 3.0 payments is its enhancement and simplification of secure and effective micro-payments. As we know, micro-payments are crucial for content creators, freelancers, and digital service providers.

What pain points or challenges in traditional online payments are Web 3.0 technologies designed to address?

Traditional online payments often entail high fees, slow settlement times, and the involvement of intermediaries, all of which hinder cross-border transactions. This presents a crucial challenge in the context of today’s global business landscape, where many enterprises, especially digital ones like e-commerce, operate across borders, therefore demanding efficient cross-border transactions.

In what ways is Web 3.0 reshaping customer interactions and experiences, and what does this mean for businesses in terms of customer engagement and loyalty?

Web 3.0 is fundamentally altering customer interactions by delivering more personalized, efficient, and transparent experiences. Businesses can now customize their services to cater to individual needs and preferences. This level of customization fosters deeper emotional connections with customers, enhancing brand loyalty. An increased trust and user-centric approach to payments improves customer engagement and encourages long-term loyalty. This transition in customer interactions signifies a shift towards a more customer-centric approach, which is invaluable for businesses aiming to thrive in the digital age.

Brands recognize the need for innovative and personalized loyalty solutions in today’s consumer landscape. Through Web3, customers gain ownership of branded digital assets instead of just collecting generic points. Web3 loyalty programs leverage NFTs for exclusive access, benefits, and unique gamified experiences. These NFTs not only serve as digital membership cards and coveted collectibles but also bridge online and tangible rewards. Furthermore, they foster community, symbolizing status and relationships within networks.

Where do you see the future of Web 3.0 in the business landscape, and what advice would you give to companies looking to embrace these emerging technologies?

The future of Web 3.0 in the African business landscape is highly promising. It will continue to drive innovation, reshape industries, and empower businesses to offer user-centric solutions. My advice to companies looking to embrace these emerging technologies is to leverage the Fuse Network platform. This is because Fuse Network equips businesses with a powerful toolkit for navigating the world of web3 payments with ease. This toolkit includes a variety of tools known as Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), which enable businesses to seamlessly interact with the blockchain. These APIs perform a range of functions, such as handling transactions, sending payment notifications, and generating invoices. This flexibility empowers businesses to adapt web3 payments to their specific needs, fostering a culture of personalized and innovative solutions.

Web3 promises to revolutionize business through secure, transparent transactions, enabling cross-border payments and fostering innovative business models. As its adoption accelerates, companies must master core technologies like blockchain, smart contracts, and decentralized applications. Assembling an expert team across development, design, and marketing is crucial. In the Web3 era, unparalleled user engagement is driven by superior user experience and true decentralization. Companies must also vigilantly monitor evolving Web3 regulations to ensure compliance and mitigate risks.

Read also: We want to onboard one billion users in App design space to Web3 platform – Montoya

Finally, for African businesses, where can they plug into this, or is it a concept far beyond what can be adopted here?

African businesses have a clear pathway to embrace Web 3.0 technologies, particularly in the realm of payments and Fuse Network, with its user-friendly and cost-effective web3 payment solutions, providing a valuable entry point. By partnering with Fuse, these businesses can tap into a range of offerings tailored to the specific needs of Africa’s emerging business landscape.

One of the key challenges in the African market is financial inclusion, as many individuals and businesses have been underserved by traditional banking systems. Fuse’s mobile-first approach and user-friendly tools open up opportunities for these underserved populations to access digital financial services. This is especially crucial in Africa, where mobile phone usage is widespread, making web3 payments accessible to a large portion of the population.

Additionally, African businesses can utilize Fuse’s Software Development Kits (SDKs) to extend blockchain payment capabilities to smaller merchants and service providers. This not only empowers these businesses to participate in the digital economy but also fosters economic growth by creating new opportunities for entrepreneurship and innovation. Fuse Network’s infrastructure, with its remarkable block time of only 5 seconds and minimal transaction fees, addresses the specific challenges of high-cost and time-consuming cross-border transactions in the African context. This is particularly relevant for businesses operating across borders within the African continent.

In all, integrating Web 3.0 technologies, particularly through Fuse Network’s offerings, is not only feasible but also highly advantageous for African businesses. It promotes financial inclusion, economic growth, and innovation in an emerging market where these elements are crucial for sustainable development. By embracing the unique opportunities presented by Web 3.0 and Fuse’s specialized solutions, African businesses can position themselves as leaders in the digital transformation of the continent.

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