, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 10 – The region’s first real-time integration with local mobile payment providers has been launched in a bid to speed up transaction processes.
The system, supported by online shopping firm 3G Direct Pay (3G), operates off cloud technology enabling customers to complete online shopping or booking processes and receive service order confirmations in seconds.
3G Managing Director Direct Pay Eran Feinstein says with no real-time transaction confirmation platform available in the local market, business to consumer (B2C) transactions were consequently hampered often taking hours even days to be finalised.
“There are less than 800 merchants with M-PESA pay-bill accounts and less than 120 for Airtel, compare that with the number of merchants in the market. It is still very low,” he noted.
Though Kenya leads globally in mobile payments, reluctance by local financial institutions to establish electronic payment gateways has restrained the growth of e-commerce in the country.
The low uptake of e-commerce has labelled Kenya as having some of the lowest levels of electronic transactions in the world.
Businesses will now be able to streamline the transaction process by opening a 3G Direct Pay account, link with M-PESA and Airtel Money allowing customers to make payments using 3G Direct Pay enabled platforms.
Specializing in the travel market, 3G is the leading provider for online shopping and online payment services in the region, processing over 90 percent online credit card payments from just over 250 travel providers in Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia.
Processing over 10,000 online payment transactions a month, 3G features a fraud prevention module where each transaction is scanned at real-time receiving an internal fraud ‘score’ based on several parameters such as card, customer, IP blacklist.
However, Feinstein revealed that the fraud rate for unsecured online transactions in the region registers fairly low at 0.5 percent compared to larger player like the US where the rate is between two percent and 2.5 percent.