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Innovation In Action

For Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC)

Citi's two-part solution delivers secure and transparent receivables management

The Challenge
Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC) - a subsidiary of Coca-Cola Hellenic, the worldwide producer and distributor of Coca-Cola beverages - is the market-leading soft drinks manufacturer in Nigeria, with 13 bottling facilities and over 80 distribution warehouses across the country.

NBC needed a convenient, reliable and secure way of collecting receivables from its customers, and an efficient method of managing its accounts receivables. The company wanted to receive credit from distributors immediately, and to view distributors' payments in real time.

NBC needed reliable web-based access to detailed account information for control and reconciliation, as well as real-time notification for credits made into its accounts.

The Innovation
To meet NBC's requirement to eliminate cash payments and give it an effective accounts receivables process, Citi created two integrated solutions, determined by distributor size.

For large distributors, a mobile point-of-sale (POS) terminal, supported by Interswitch, offered the same certainty as cash payments, with sales reflected in NBC's operating account immediately following a transaction between a salesperson and merchant.

For around 150 smaller merchants without the volume to warrant the POS terminal-based system, an innovative alternative was developed. Working with three correspondent banks with over 600 branches nationwide, smaller merchants were issued checks that were prefilled with NBC's payment details, and collected by NBC's deliveryman. This solution gave NBC the payment security it needed, because checks could not be issued on accounts with insufficient funds. Moreover, by using a book transfer between the correspondent banks and Citi, NBC received the value of checks on a same-day basis.

The Result
NBC has gained the visibility of its payments and balances through Citi's two-part solution. Through Citi's partnership with local banks, many small merchants - previously among Nigeria's 40 million unbanked people - now have the ability to make low-value payments.