Women Traders decry Delayed Payments, Limited Training on E-commerce.

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Our Reporter.

Women Traders from across Kampala City have asked Financial Technology Stakeholders, and E-commerce players to focus on both Real Time payments and Traders’ Training as these two are the main impediments to online transactions embrace.

While appearing on a panel discussion themed Financial Inclusion for Informal Women Traders at the 2020 Digital Impact Awards Africa held at Mestil Hotel on Friday 11th December, the Women Traders’ leaders drawn from Bugolobi, Wandegeya, Kalerwe, Mpererwe and Kitintale Markets noted that even though online transactions have saved businesses and lives during these unprecedented Covid-19 times, failure by Financial Technology players to do Real Time payments, Limited Training and Lack of latest Online Trade tools have slowed further adoption.

Those on this informative and thoughtful panel discussion were Nanono Aisha from Bugolobi market, Akiiki Grace from Wandegeya market, Nakaketo Samalie Nkata from Kitintale market, Nabukera Faridah from Mpererwe market and Sarah Naluwaga from Kalerwe market.

“There hasn’t been huge embrace of the online and technology based business in Kitintale market. We haven’t had sufficient training on online trade. We also don’t have the right tools of trade. This explains the low uptake among vendors in our market,” Nakaketo Samalie Nkata, a Women Traders’ Leader from Kitintale Market said.

Grace Akiiki, the Chairperson of Wandegeya Market Women Traders added; “We had embraced e-commerce in Wandegeya market. But we got a huge challenge of delayed and sometimes no payments from an E-commerce player we were working with. When someone orders online, they order for goods that you don’t even have on your stall. So you have to use your cash to purchase the missing items and prepare this order with hope that you will be paid immediately. But then the payment delays or never comes.”

The issues shared by these traders made up much of the discussions at this event with different speakers acknowledging the need for the industry players to implement Financial Inclusion based practices such as same day settlements, tiered KYC, Low Cost User Devices and real time funds transfer.  

Damali Ssali, a Trade Development Expert implored Financial Technology and E-Commerce players to walk the digital and financial inclusion talk by ensuring that they train traders and also make payments for sold goods in real time.

“It is unfair that an informal trader in Kalerwe market has to offer credit to big e-commerce and FinTech players then wait for days before a payment is made. The Financial Technology industry must embrace the Level One Project principle of same day settlement. Payments for goods sold must be instantly remitted to seller through mobile money or bank,” Damali Ssali said, adding;

“Again, the FinTechs and E-commerce players must take lead on educating the traders on how this industry works. If well trained and empowered, more traders will make informed decisions and embrace online transactions.”

The Awards were a culmination of the Digital and Financial Inclusion Summit organized by HiPipo in partnership with ModusBox, Level One Project, Mojaloop Foundation and UNCDF. 

The Digital Impact Awards Africa seeks to recognize, celebrate and appreciate different individuals and organizations that are spearheading the use of digital mediums to better serve their communities. Winners are those with the highest score from a combined Jury and Public voting process.

The 2020 winners included Standard Chartered for Digital Brand of the Year Award, Stanbic Bank took the Cards Payments Excellence Award, Jumia won E-Commerce Innovation Excellence, Centenary Bank won the Community Bank Excellence Award while Jumia was voted as Best Consumer Goods Brand on Social Media.

Prof. Maggie Kigozi, a Ugandan Business Leader and the event guest of honour underscored the critical economy saving role that the Financial Technology industry has played during these unprecedented Covid-19 times, the existing challenges notwithstanding.  

“I want to appreciate the young generation for seeing opportunities, jumping up to them and delivering products and solutions that we all use. I urge the Financial Technology Ecosystem players to continue working together to address any challenges. There are still a few problems here and there. But Financial Inclusion is happening,” Prof. Maggie Kigozi said. Ends.