e-commerce boom offers new opportunities for Kenya

DR RUTENDO HwindingwiNAIROBI, (CAJ News) – KENYA’S electronic commerce market is primed for major growth in the next five years as mobile internet performance continues to improve, a proposed national addressing system comes into existence, and people become more comfortable with digital transactions.

This is according to an industry expert, Dr. Rutendo Hwindingwi, who says that Kenya’s enthusiastic adoption of person-to-person mobile payments creates a solid base for the growth of mobile and electronic commerce. “We’re seeing more and more Kenyans go online, thanks to cheaper smartphones and mobile data,” he adds.

“Combine that with Kenyans’ comfort with electronic transactions after years of using mobile data, and we can expect to see digital shopping and commerce really start to take off.”

According to the Communications Authority of Kenya, the e-commerce market in Kenya was worth around Ksh.4,3 billion (US$42,57 million) in 2014.

However, with internet penetration of 82 percent and 35,5 million users (according to the authority), Kenya is one of the African countries best placed for a digital commerce explosion, says Hwindingwi.

According to statistics from the communications authority Sh3 billion in mobile transactions already take place in the country each day.

Hwindingwi says that most digital transactions in Kenya will take place via smartphones and mobile broadband because of low fixed-line and PC penetration.

“This is particularly significant given the low penetration of credit and debit cards in Kenya – a factor that has inhibited e-commerce. Kenyans excluded from the formal banking system have lacked safe, easy and convenient ways to pay and be paid,” he says.

“We hope to see mobile wallet solutions come to market that make it easy for customers to make digital payments.”

Hwindingwi says that small and medium businesses are as able to take advantage of the digital commerce wave as larger businesses.

Hwindingwi is divisional director for Sage East and West Africa, the market leader for integrated accounting, payroll and payment systems.

CAJ News

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