Nudged to Pay Digitally Last Valentine?


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Nudged to Pay Digitally Last Valentine?

digital , 04-03-2020

We do deliveries!

That’s the new-found slogan of businesses. With goods only an internet search or phone call away; it’s commonplace to find motor-bikes and mini-vans coursing through the streets, delivering orders to homes and offices. Why visit the market when it can come to you? A growing e-commerce market has democratised the distribution channel and kicked down the door of costly office space and warehousing. The relaxed barriers to entry are driving a burgeoning industry of micro, small and “social media enterprises” that boast of selling anything from anywhere.
E-commerce thrives on trust. Customers prefer to receive their orders before payment is made, whereas vendors want the assurance of timely payment. Situate this mindset in an economy, with national identification and property addressing system on L-Plates, and you get a section of sceptic customers and hesitant vendors waiting to come onboard when all their fears are addressed. It partly explains the Ghana Living Standard Survey (GLSS Round 7, June 2019) finding that barely two out of every hundred persons in the country utilise e-commerce; far below the ICT and mobile adoption rate.

Under these circumstances, some customers may not process the option of digital payment favourably, especially when presented as the “pay-before-delivery” option. On the off-chance the order is lost, wrongly delivered or damaged, the customer seems protected because there’s no skin in the game.

Every so often, late adopters receive a nudge to pay digitally. These are non-coercive factors that make digital payment a more favourable choice. If you ordered a package to someone at a different address this Valentine, chances are, you paid digitally. These are moments when cashless beats the default cash setting. It may have been your first payment using mobile money, cards or some sort of e-wallet – small, yet the first step towards cultivating the knack of going cashless.

In a growing e-commerce space, the struggle for first mover advantage means that some vendors appear to be agnostic over what means of payments customers choose. As couriers are largely paid based on the number of deliveries and travel distance accrued, they are not too keen on cash-paying customers. Any experienced courier knows that paying with cash isn’t a simple “deliver and get paid” situation. There are complications that introduce inefficiencies and cost. Payments delay or are vacated at the point of package delivery which backs up into pending orders creating bottlenecks and high delivery fees. A quick scan of the food delivery business in the national capital presents some troubling findings. There are records of delayed payments by customers, occasional prank calls and fruitless delivery rounds.

This topped the list of outrageous excuses. You successfully deliver a box of pizza to the specified address only to be told by the customer: “My boyfriend is paying; he is not yet here. Please wait” [for the cash?] Such encounters eat away at their commissions and slow down the entire delivery system.
It’s obvious. We could all do with less cash in e-commerce. For those charged with delivering our orders, it could mean freedom from the associated risk of theft and the chore of multiple daily cash reconciliations with their employers.
Waiting for another nudge?