Early this year, we wrote a post on the state of online banking, payments and online shopping in Kenya. Despite the growing number of Kenyan sites allowing online transactions, many had not taken steps to ensure the security of user information submitted online to those services including financial institutions, Online Payment & Shopping Sites.
According to the 2014 Kenya Cyber Security Report, all 4 online payment sites and 6 online Shopping sites in Kenya did not offer Client side encryption. What this means is, if you are buying anything or paying for anything online on a Kenyan website, whatever information you give on that website, mostly, your credit card number, code etc is visible to anything who knows how to look for such information.
For the longest time, it has been nearly impossible for Kenyans sell items on most online shopping sites in the US as most could not get PayPal accounts. This was because, one needed to have either a US or UK bank account to have a Paypal account.
All that has since changed.
Last year Paypal partnered with one of Kenya’s fastest growing banks, Equity, enabling Kenyans to withdraw funds deposited into their PayPal accounts through their Equity Bank accounts. Although this partnership was initially provided in conjunction with South Africa’s First National Bank (FNB), with withdrawals from a PayPal account taking anywhere from 5 to 8 business days to reflect in one’s Equity Bank account. PayPal have now directly entered the Kenyan market, a move that will drastically reduce the funds transfer period.
This comes at a very ideal time for Kenyan Online shopping sites which have benefited immensely from the biggest shopping weekend – The Black Friday which has also now taken off this year with many online shopping sites such as Jumia having Black Friday discounts.
PayPal have also partnered with USaddress.com to make online shopping in the holiday season even easier. The next headache for Africans buying items from online shopping sites after payment options, is the delivery of those items.
This is where USAdress.com comes in. This service allows customers to shop at any US online retailer and to provide a local mail address that can be used if a US merchant does not ship to Kenya. Customers registering on the USaddress.com website are given a personal U.S home address that can be used on all American shopping websites, making millions of products available to them. After making a purchase, packages will be delivered to the USaddress.com logistics centre. Customers are notified of the arrival of their packages, select their preferred method of shipping and pay online. The delivery is then dispatched to their doorstep anywhere in the world, including in Kenya and most sub-Saharan Africa countries.
Thus if you are in any Sub-Saharan Africa country and you are wondering how to take advantage of the amazing offers that many of the US online shopping sites are offering and have the items delivered to your home especially this weekend of #BlackFriday and #CyberMonday, get yourself a PayPal and USAddress.com account and shop till your fingers ache.