17 Mar Imagining a Post-COVID-19 Africa for our Multinational eCommerce Merchants

Let's think through what’s going to happen in an advanced stage of COVID-19 across Africa and how it could affect eCommerce and online payments.

The “haves” are going to be hit really hard - travel brought to a standstill, most businesses closed, people out of work, stocks and shares plummeted, loans defaulted, less old people, banks bankrupt, governments picking up the pieces.  

COVID-19 hasn’t hit Africa at the time of writing, but I think it's a matter of time.  On the one hand, medical facilities are poor, hygiene is not great, and living spaces are crowded . . on the other, transport and travel are mainly local, and African countries have had the opportunity to take precautions like self isolation, closing borders etc.  My best guess is that the health impact will be similar to the rest of the world.

Thinking through the financial effects . . 

Starting with the fundamentals - 500m Africans have a mobile phone, half of them have a smartphone, most are young adults, most don’t have a lot of debt, most are connected, its mainly cash, but many have a way to pay with mobile money or card.  

City dwellers have an appetite for consumer goods and the other half, rural are largely agricultural and subsistence.

Quarantining urban consumers will require delivery of, and payment for groceries and pharmacy goods, and rural will be looking to remote trading in and payment for agricultural products.  Africans are driven and interested in tech which will facilitate an escalation in the development of apps that service the web services. 

Services like Jumia Foods, Mama meals, OFood restaurant food delivery, OLeads instant website for SMEs will thrive.  No-work will cause a cash squeeze and they won't be buying luxury goods. Stay at home will mean more gaming, binary, and home entertainment. Electricity and cost of bandwidth are a challenge.  

The bottom line is that if Africa gets off lightly from a health and wellbeing perspective, this pandemic will be a leveller and Africans will be in a relatively better financial position, they will be more connected, there will be more apps, and African consumers will be more experienced with shopping and paying online. 

If you are looking to work with experts on payment at the checkout across Africa, click here to get in touch with us.

Our services include: 

  • Nigeria
    • Online payment solutions
    • Credit card payments
    • eCommerce payments
    • Payment provider
    • Payment gateway

 

  • Kenya
    • Online payment solutions
    • Credit card payments
    • eCommerce payments
    • Payment provider
    • Payment gateway

 

  • South Africa
    • Online payment solutions
    • Credit card payments
    • eCommerce payments
    • Payment provider
    • Payment gateway