Thursday, August 14, 2014

Trust and Verify

Two seemingly unrelated announcements were made by a pair of tech industry heavyweights - Apple and (eBay's) PayPal. Apple extended two-step verification - where a code sent to an old device must be used to change an account or buy something on a new device - to 49 countries, including China, India, Brazil and dozens of other developing nations. Nigeria was not on the list. This is noteworthy because PayPal announced that tens of thousands of Nigerians signed up for PayPal in the first week of operations there. PayPal and its partners (a prominent local lending partner, suppliers in Dubai and China, and fast-growing online retailer Jumia) claim that e-commerce in Nigeria has officially arrived.

Of course, for consumers, signing up for PayPal or verifying a new iPhone is only the beginning of the online buying experience. The bloom will quickly fade from the e-commerce rose if buyers fail to receive an order or fall victim to identity theft. The trust barrier is considerably higher for emerging-market consumers than it is for their mature-market counterparts. In many developing countries, people generally mistrust banks, operators, mail delivery organizations, foreign companies, and the legal system's capacity to prosecute fraud or theft. It will take a concerted effort to build trust and educate new smartphone users about risk, data protection and privacy.

As smartphones and wearables are used for more and more functions, trust and education will determine the growth rate for online purchasing. Device makers, app developers, and service providers (including back-end hosts) all have tremendous opportunities up and down the e-commerce value chain. Multinational companies that build reliable public - and private-sector partnerships (particularly with delivery services) and implement strong, user-friendly security measures will foster trust. To be truly effective, these efforts should accompany early and continued investment in brand marketing via localized content and messaging that reinforces security features. Providing a platform for user reviews and focusing on early adopters and influencers through social media can also validate the online buying experience and address the trust issues of willing but wary buyers. 

2 comments:

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Luigi Boschin said...

Consumer use of SmartPhones is on the increase internationally at a phenomenal rate with 61% of consumers accessing the Internet using one. The success of the M-commerce channel relies not only on consumers’ interest in using SmartPhones to engage in activities such as ticketing.
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