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Safaricom says Bonga app can ensure fraud-free e-commerce

Safaricom says Bonga app can ensure fraud-free e-commerce

Safaricom believes its Bonga ecommerce platform is uniquely positioned to enhance e-trade and eliminate any possibility of fraud.

The e-commerce component of the app, called 'Bonga Biashara' will enable merchants to 'open' and operate digital shops from their phones.

The app can be used to track orders, receive mobile payments and engage with potential clients.

Speaking at a user experience development session in Nairobi, Shikoh Gitau, Head of Products at Safaricom Alpha (the innovation hub for the telecom), said that they will use data linked to a merchant's SIM card number (which will be used to open the digital shops) to authenticate sign ups.

"As a telecom company we can track our user's details including their number and the identification number they registered the SIM with," said Gitau.

This will enable the company to 'lock out' merchants identified as fraudsters.

Currently, the system allows for a merchant to open a maximum of two shops under one number and have a maximum of two administrators.

Developers explained that Bonga Biashara will feature an Escrow service to ensure payment is only made when the goods are delivered.

Safaricom has also added a chat app, Bonga Sasa, and group chat/crowdsourcing facility Bonga Baraza.

The combination of chat and payment services is gaining popularity across the continent, according to the company.

In Nigeria, MasterCard, Ecobank and Facebook partnered to enable mobile and electronic payments through Messenger.

Finserve Africa (Equity Bank) in Kenya signed a MoU for collaboration in mid-June 2018, with Red Dot Payment Limited expected to bring WeChat Pay and Alipay into Kenya.

The Alpha unit is still processing feedback from entrepreneurs regarding challenges they face in conducting online business before officially launching the solution.

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