By FREDRICK OBURA
The State has been urged to apply advanced regulations to support e-commerce growth and secure both the customer and the merchants.
Online payment firms say the State should tighten regulations in web security, customer privacy, data management and product return in line with global trends.
“There is a growing trend among financial institutions, and enterprises now getting into online transaction,” said Eran Feinstein, managing director, 3G Direct Pay. “There is need for localised legislation aimed at strengthening consumer and merchant protection and preventing fraudulent activities in the e- payment industry. “The growth in e-payments usage tends to higher in countries where they have robust country specific regulatory environment that protects both the customer and the merchants,” he said.
Eran said there is need to set the security standards for all e-commerce websites. Others include setting strict regulations which define how the merchant keep their customer privacy and limitations regarding the private data merchants can store and set return policy standards where the customer can return products to the merchants.
Airline and hotel bookings by consumers using the Internet have grown sharply, while a broad range of other items, including cars, food, appliances and electronic equipment are also being sold online. In the services sector, financial services, including online banking, have been expanding rapidly.
“Technology has brought about several efficiencies in the country, we would like to leverage on it to offer consumers efficiencies and savings,” saidNasir Rafique, managing director Bata Kenya during the launch of its online shopping arm known as Bata Home.
Bata Home is a service that allows anyone the freedom to buy shoes from the comfort of their home or office by accessing www.batakenya.com. “With the system, we want to help our consumers shop smart by saving on time, and fare that they use to visit our physical outlets,” he said. Eran identified payment security as one of the most important factors for consumers in their decision to make or not make online purchases.