In a recent interview with Kenyan Wallstreet, Jumia Kenya Managing Director Sam Chappatte said Kenya is one of the three countries whereby they will piloting its third-party payment solution Jumia Pay which aims to provide a ‘more convenient’ payment method to its users. Jumia Pay is currently live in Nigeria and Egypt. Mastercard agreed to join Jumia as a shareholder having invested $56 million in a private placement before the IPO. The e-commerce platform aims to leverage on this partnership to improve user experience in terms of payments.
“We will launch Jumia Pay in Kenya in the next couple of months…. Its a payment platform, its a wallet…. We will reward customers for customers for using Jumia Pay through cash backs.” said Mr Chappatte.
Mr Chappatte revealed that third-party sales agents under the JForce are growing at a very fast rate and have now exceeded the 25,0000 mark. The JForce program allows individuals to earn commission by assisting customers to place orders on Jumia online shop. The sellers typically make about Sh 1000 to Sh 500,000 every month.
Mr Chappatte also revealed that they have been piloting and will soon launch an agency pick up model whereby existing shop owners such as dry cleaners, fuel stations e.t.c will be able to sign up as Jumia pick up stations allowing them to earn more revenues from commissions earned by placing orders and allowing users pick up their orders.
In regards to the job market, Jumia, which opened shop in Kenya in May 2013 currently employs over 500 staff in its Kenyan operations with a target of employing 15,000 staff, a clear demonstration of the impact both directly and indirectly. This is in line with a recent report by Boston Consulting Group notes that online marketplaces are starting to boost incomes, create jobs, and offer new opportunities for the continent’s fast-growing population. BCG adds that marketplaces such as Uber, Jumia, Souq, Thundafund, Travelstart have the potential to create around 3 million new jobs, ranging from delivery drivers to retail and hospitality workers, across the continent by 2025.
With regards to the Kenyan business, Mr Chappatte revealed that everyday products such as soap, flour are the platform’s largest category by volumes alot of customer acquisition as well as repetition. A major advantage of the company has been the ability to solve the complex logistics problem that has been a major challenge for online platforms especially for players in the Kenyan market and Africa at large.
Mr. Chappatte further notes that global partnership are also playing a huge part in ensuring that Jumia continues to offer convenience to it’s growing base of users. A good example is the recently announced partnership with Chinese electronics maker Xiaomi to enable users access exclusive Xiaomi products on the platform. Jumia has also partnered with Majid Al Futtaim, the exclusive franchise operator of Carrefour to offer online shopping in the region.
Besides enhancing the retail e-commerce space, Mr. Chappatte says that the recent Jumia IPO listing means a lot to the African technology ecosystem as it will help raise the profile of local and regional startups in terms of capital raising.