E-commerce appears the way to go, particularly with the younger generation seeming eager to embrace new ways, but issues of trust and safety threaten growth. At the just concluded, Nigeria Summit in Lagos, the Ag Chief Executive Officer of Konga.com , Shola Adekoya Konga.com revealed how his company is using an innovation, KongaPay to tackle these issues. konga Shola Adekoya Driving e-commerce ecosystem in Nigeria, KongaPay example Despite barriers hindering electronic commerce growth in Nigeria and the rest of the world, the system has received significant attention in the country as buying goods online with smart devices is fast becoming an essential part of life for many people in Nigeria. This is even as absence of adequate basic infrastructural, socioeconomic factors, regulatory environment, trust, amon others have combined to create a significant barrier in the adoption and growth of e-commerce in Nigeria. While Konga has continued to drive e-commerce ecosystem in Nigeria, latest study on five countries in Sub-Saharan Africa including Nigeria has revealed that 63 percent of respondents are unbanked, while 52 percent use mobile money through agents. Pricing For many consumers, buying goods from the physical market appears more affordable. But speaking at the summit during a panel discussion on ‘Meeting the Needs of Consumers,’ Adekoya told the gathering that in contrary popular notion, buying online is cheaper. “We are way cheaper than the local market. You can test it, just pick up a few phones, laptops, etc. When we were doing deals we found out that we even have some customers from these local markets trying to buy from us to resell.” On how e-commerce is able to offer more value on pricing, he explained, “I know for a fact that we are cheaper than a lot of the offline and local markets because we buy in bulk and we are particular about giving value to the customer. Our margins are very thin and tight just to make sure we deliver value to the customer.” Managing trust While issue of trust continues to loom large on online shopping globally, Konga.com has put measures in place to manage it. According to the Konga.com boss, “Trust is a very big item on our agenda. We always monitor customer feedback. So, there are few ways we manage trust issues. First of all, we have a whole team of agents working on trust and safety. “We follow up with merchants, and we follow up with even the shippers. We have a whole team dedicated to making sure that our customer experience is right. ” Pay on delivery As part of the solution to trust issues on e-commerce, many consumers prefer to pay for their goods and services on delivery. So there is a system in place that ensures that consumers can pay the courier with cash or with their ATM/Debit card upon delivery of their order. Konga buyer protection program Speaking on this, the Acting chief executive officer of Konga.com further explained that if a consumers pay on delivery with cash, his company may be unable to fully protect them under the Buyer Protection program. “When you shop on Konga, you can choose to pay securely in advance with KongaPay, with your ATM/Debit card, or on delivery with cash or POS. “If you choose to pay in advance with internet banking or your ATM/Debit card, Konga can protect you 100% with our Buyer Protection program. When you’re covered by our Buyer Protection program, you can shop with complete confidence and ultimate peace of mind. If something goes wrong, we help make it right with a refund, repair, or replacement”, he said. However, looking at the way e-commerce is working in Nigeria, pay on delivery is not really working well for the e-commerce giants as many consumers will always give one excuse or the other not to pay on delivery because of change in their economic status. The end result is return of the goods. This is where the introduction KongaPay has changed the game because it addresses the challenges associated with pay on delivery. How KongaPay works With this system, the e-commerce giant has collaboration with banks and operators, by developing secure, flexible mobile financial platforms that help build an interconnected and transparent financial ecosystem. There is also an incentive for the buying public as by using KongaPay, each consumer gets a five percent discount on each and every purchase made on Konga.com. Speaking to newsmen shortly after the summit on a number Konga.com activities in the e-commerce space, Adekoya highlighted that KongaPay is a secure payment method that allows its customers pay for goods without using debit cards. The system, he said gives consumers five percent discount on any product bought. “As a customer, if you are able to use KongaPay to make payment, it just gives you this extra guarantee knowing that your money is there and you’ll get it back in an instant. So one of the benefits of KongaPay is that to do refund is so easy because we haven’t consumed the money. The money can be refunded immediately”, he explained. Noting that the market for e-commerce in Nigeria is still untapped, he pointed out that, “We deliver better value online.” Challenges Adekoya said that regulatory environment, education, awareness, and trust among several factors rank high among the challenges confronting e-commerce in Nigeria. He noted that beyond these challenges, the truth of the matter is that the market for e-commerce is growing with many more Nigerians embracing it. For industry watchers, e-commerce in Nigeria or elsewhere can only be successfully built on trust and safety, which are the two components that would allow for a seamless exchange of goods, services and most importantly payments.