We are yet to have the expected success that matches our stature in the global market. Kenya is known for innovation and being ahead of the pack in many things technology. Even the media loves Kenya technology. But not all is well. We still have a struggle when it comes to e-commerce. Several solutions have been thrown at merchants and consumers but we are not yet out of the wild.
As we all know, technology is interesting, what works in region X does not necessarily work in region Y. Ask Kenyan musicians who look up to their counterparts in the west. This has nothing to do with financial capabilities of the markets or their taste in certain products. But financial inclusion and systems that work for the specific market.
And we have a solution to several things. Hands up if you ever purchased an app on any of the mobile applications stores. I have previously, but those that had offers available to me, not that I wouldn’t have wanted to make some hardworking developer earn their keep, but limitations of choice. Running a credit card is a cost I have always wanted to avoid. A lot of other Kenyans don’t have access to one.
Options available to them are limited, or expensive, debit cards as an option to make payments online are a pain, and mobile money is far back in the queue. NationHela comes in as one very convenient proposition, both in terms of acquisition ease and cost of running it. See below some of the ways it becomes a convenience over available options.
App stores, developers get the money
I know quite many smartphone users who have either felt they needed to buy a premium app, either for the value the app gives or to reward the developer for their great work and hours put in. The devs also wish to build revenue streams with them. They can now get the money, I have bought apps now after setting up NationHela, an easy process that doesn’t involve requiring the banker to call you even to verify an app store set-up. And now I feel like a person who’s played their part in making the world a better place.
E-commerce make more sense for merchants
Yes getting paid on products sites isn’t as hard as the applications store as the merchants want to make available as many payment options as possible, and integrators ensure that happens. But options for paying like mobile money are yet to be as fluid as card payments are. You go through those many steps that would even involve a waiting time. NationHela as a prepay card wont face that hiccup, you get paying immediately. Webmasters are having sleepless nights thinking of ways to make the user do things faster, this would be one of it.
Load another person’s card
As NationHela is an international money transfer service, you get all the benefits of one in that you can now get anyone to send you money to make a purchase to your card. This can be done either on the NationHela website where the user can send money from their bank or mobile money through the Paybill number 516602 and the account number as their phone number. With the widespread access to broadband, you see how this can be convenient when a merchant like Bata that delivers countrywide is able to sell to that farmer in Kericho some nice new boots.
Just like the app stores and other big properties, you will come across merchant sites like Amazon that will only accept the card as payment method. These are established entities that even have their own e-wallet. They have their own reasons, and these wallets can’t be set-up without a card, either VISA or Mastercard.
These are the small things that really matter. I set up an account with Samsung Apps Store on my smartphone and was immediately alerted of some money deducted as part of verification process. I got the text before I went through to the confirmation page on my phone. These instant notifications matter very much. You know immediately that there’s transactions on your account. The fact that you can also block your card without requiring intervention of a third party is even icing on the cake. You can query balance on the phone via USSD by dialling *348#.