Then came the mobile money transfer services and everything turned around. Online buyers still struggled with the idea of paying stuff over the Net using their phones.
JamboPay, a company established in 2009, tried to bridge this digital divide by introducing online payment services.
“Regulation was unclear and approval by Central Bank of Kenya took quite some time,” Danson Muchemi CEO of JamboPay told HumanIPO.
Setting up its business was hard as Muchemi tells us: “Getting a bank to act as our clearing and settlement bank was a challenge initially and online payments were still new and therefore viewed with some of skepticism then.”
Years on, the company now integrates mobile payment with online transactions. Over the years, it has gained 15,000 merchant and personal accounts on its platform.
The business offers various solutions including, eCommerce checkout, school fees payment, donations and also the Visa Prepaid card which works with I&M bank. Members of the site can make transaction and pay bills from their account.
Even government bodies are now showing interests in the payment method. Muchemi didn’t reveal the identity but said they have a government project currently underway.
So what can be done to improve the trust in online payments, we posed. “Have relevant content online, delink e-commerce from banking- people here still find banks a bit mystical and keep process simple and secure, e) give us(Africans) time to come around,” Muchemi said.
Other companies including PesaPal and Ipay have jumped into the field as more Kenyans become aware of online and mobile payments systems.