Ecommerce company Jumia will introduce a lending scheme for its merchants in some of the countries it operates in, including Kenya, Ivory Coast, Egypt and Morocco. The motivation behind this launch is to help them (merchants) boost their businesses, and by extension, Jumia’s service delivery. It also believes that it will use vendor data at its disposal to make the online lending program work.
According to Techmoran, the announcement was made official during last week’s TechCrunch Startup Battle Africa that was done in Nairobi.
“We are always working with those partners and we bring them business online and by just listening to them we realized how difficult it was for them to access funding. So we realized they had a problem and we thought we could help them solve their problem by using the Jumia data to provide them with better financing opportunities,” said Jumia co-CEO Sacha Poignonnec.
Jumia understands that their vendors and the general SME segment faces difficulties when sourcing for finances, or when they do, furnishing them is pricey. The company has, therefore, decided to leverage its vendor data to help SMEs find the right partner for credit facilities. At the same time, Jumia is creating a virtual Sacco for vendors to get access to financing from a large pool of financial institutions.
Notably, these loans will be offered at a 12% p.a rate. It is believed that Jumia wants to offer this stepping stone for existing and incoming vendors because it brings more goods on its platform, benefits the vendors and builds a relationship between merchants and involved financial institutions. Everybody wins.
For the moment, there is no mention of the financial partners who will be part of this program, nor has the ETA for the service been given.
It should also be noted that Jumia has been improving its service delivery in a bid to stay at the top of the ecommerce game. For instance, it started to restructure its onboarding process to allow vendors sign up on the platform in under 24 hours. Collectively, these gains should give it a competitive edge when Safaricom’s ecommerce platform dubbed Masoko see the light of day.