Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer/Chief Technology Officer of Shopkite, Mr Damola Ogunbambo, in this interview with OMOSHALEWA KAYODE-ONIFADE, speaks on e-commerce and why Nigerians have not fully embraced it
How would you describe the contribution of payment gateways on e-commerce in Nigeria?
On the positive side, payment gateways have been helpful to both businesses and customers. The presence of payment gateways has increased the possibility of doing business online. Businesses do not need to worry about the infrastructural cost of setting up a personalised payment system. Also, they are provided with an easier way to receive payment digitally.
Customers, on the other hand, have over time learnt to trust the payment gateways, like PayStack and Flutterwave. This trust gives a handful of them the confidence to make transactions online, knowing that they are doing this via a trustworthy entity.
With recent financial technology developments, a lot of Nigerians are shopping online. What major challenges do you see for both consumers and businesses?
The fear of being defrauded will be a critical challenging point. Typically, most customers in this clime are generally sceptical about making transactions online, especially when it comes to using their payment card details.
Failed transactions also pose a challenge for both businesses and their customers. Although, there are more successful transactions than failed ones, negatives tend to be more pronounced and amplified. It is the theory of the burning hospital making the evening news.
Education about how financial platforms and generally how transactions online work is also a challenging factor. Basically, people are not enlightened about how payment works in the digital landscape.
What do you think are the solutions to these problems?
Introduction of new systems like the blockchain technology can help greatly in reducing fraud and verifying transactions. I am not an expert in blockchain, but I have read that it is a more trustworthy system to validate transactions.
In 2018, report showed that about 60 per cent of fraud was perpetrated online, owing to available Internet-based and tech-related banking services. What are your fears, as many Nigerians now avoid online shopping?
I don’t have any fear, really. In time, as people have better understanding of how to shop securely online, the caution to exercise and steps to take, the percentages will even out and, eventually, the fraud cases will reduce.
The companies that provide financial services should also have developed better ways to detect fraudulent accounts or transactions with time.
Relative to fintech startups, how has Shopkite helped in serving its purpose or the reason of its development?
Shopkite has served its immediate purpose to a fair extent, but it still has a long way to go. It is gradually becoming integral and helpful to businesses around Nigeria, and this positions it as a go-to inventory and sales record-keeping solution.
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