FEATURE: Offline transactions still favoured despite advanced online systems

The slow advancement of online payment in Africa, in spite of the high adoption of electronic payments via mobile money, is a setback to e-commerce in the continent.

The growth of mobile money in Africa has caught the attention of the world. Despite having customers on these platforms, the traditional online e-commerce payment system is not very popular in Africa.

Bronwyn Johnson, head of marketing at OLX, told HumanIPO that online shopping is very convenient and growing in popularity, though people still seem to prefer finding products and comparing prices online while making transaction offline.

“For this reason online classifieds sites are growing in popularity. Through OLX millions of successful deals have taken place, allowing consumers to find products and services in their local area,” he said.

In developed countries, customers can easily order goods and services from websites and use their credit or debit cards to pay. The development of banking services in such countries has helped them to embrace e-commerce faster than Africa, where banking is an issue.

Some analysts believe that Africa is a mobile only market and the e-commerce model will not see the expected growth. However, this has not stopped companies from trying. Uzanunua, a Kenyan buying and selling website, boasts of thousands of products on its online store.

Web entrepreneurs who want to get into e-commerce must factor in the issue of trust, which is a problem for the African consumer. For this reason, developers should not ignore the mobile factor in their products.

“Much can be done and it is positive to see how much has already been done. Banking initiatives like mobile payments have allowed this industry to grow.  As people become more safety conscious and learn how to transact online – this will grow even further,” Johnson said.

Posted in: Internet

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