How to play safe on Google trader
INTERNET| July 31, 2012, 2:58 p.m.
By Semaj Itosno, Nairobi, Kenya
Google has been spreading its wings across Africa with launch of new applications targeted at the masses. We talked to Google’s Kenya manager, Joe Mucheru on the firm’s new products in Kenya:
SI: Is Google trader gaining popularity among Kenyans?
JM: Although we do not break down numbers per country basis, all we can tell is that Google trader is growing in Kenya.
SI:What is the most prominent activity in Google trader?
JM: Computers and housing is what people want to sell online while mobile phones, computers, electronics are what buyers are searching to buy online
SI: Which country in Africa is most active when it comes to online shopping?
JM: As far as Google Trader is concerned, Ghana has so far been the most active in online shopping.
SI: My hypothesis is: Online shopping is yet to gain popularity in Kenya because of fraud fear...what is your comment?
JM: There could be many reasons why this is the case including lack of access to credit cards/ online payment mechanisms.
SI: What should consumers need to know when doing shopping online?
Buyers should be wary of:
●Extremely low prices for expensive or popular items.
● Promises of earning quick money with little effort.
● Sellers wanting payments before delivering the item you have purchased.
●Anyone asking you to wire money directly into their account, or who claims to only take Western Union or Money Gram or similar forms of payment.
●Someone, who provides a different address or contact details than what is stated on his or her details page.
●Anyone claiming that Google Trader will guarantee a transaction, certify either buyer or seller, or will handle or provide protection for a payment. Any such claim is fraudulent as Google Trader is not involved in any transactions.
When you meet:
● Meet in a safe, public place.
● Inspect the item before you complete the transaction to make sure it is exactly what has been described and it is what you wanted.
If you’re the seller, be wary if:
●The buyer wants to pay with a cashier’s check.
●The buyer wants to pay only part of the price up front and the rest later.
●The buyer hides his or her contact details or phone number.
SI: How is the project of building websites for local businesses doing?
JM: Getting Kenya Businesses Online (GKBO), has already helped bring thousands of small and medium size enterprises online since the launch of the initiative on the 12th September 2012.
Through GKBO, businesses have the opportunity to create their own website and develop an online presence, for free. The GKBO initiative is already transforming the Kenyan SME landscape, a sector expected to become a key driver for growth according to Vision 2030, by making it quick, easy and free for businesses to register an online presence, at a time when more and more Kenyans are accessing the internet every year.
Google is committed to Africa and we continue to develop and release products that are locally relevant and useful for Africans. Access, data, and devices are too expensive. African users will benefit from an open and more competitive access market with lower prices. We are also focusing on mobile technology and SMS to deliver information, products and the internet affordably to the majority of people in the continent.
SI: What key benefits are there for a business that has a website?
JM: Small businesses that invest in internet technologies are growing much faster than those that don't.Casestudies show that SMEs that went online using our GxBO programme are reporting strong growth in business opportunities and revenue.
SI: Tell me more about the Gmail SMS service you launched and how it is changing way of accessing mails.
JM: Gmail SMS is a new feature in Gmail, that lets users send and receive emails as SMS messages using any mobile phone (be it feature phone or smartphone), not requiring any data connection (Wifi, 3G)! The reality is that there are still many Kenyans who do not have access to the Internet and thus, cannot access their mail all the time as they would like. Gmail sms offers them this ability to receive their mail as if they had a smartphone or data connection.
According to CCK, the number of mobile subscribers in the country is at 29.2 million. Out of this, there are 6.49 million mobile data/Internet subscriptions on GPRS/EDGE and 3G. This means that with this service we are increasing access to over 22 million subscribers who do not have access to mobile internet subscription. Receiving SMS is free of charge. Standard rate charge applies to each SMS sent from the mobile phone, be it a reply, compose or any command.
SI: With mobile phones gaining popularity, how is Google taking advantage of the wave?
JM: More people use Trader on mobile than web in Kenya!!
MORE INTERNET NEWS
Liquid Telecom upgrades Kampala’s International Internet gatewayInfocom, now owned by Liquid Telecom, the leading independent data, voice and IP provider in eastern, central and southern Africa, has unveiled a major upgrade of its international Internet gateway in Kampala. Read More
Commission calls for enhanced broadband planningRwandan President Kagame has presented an open letter from the Broadband Commission to PP-14 delegates, calling for enhanced broadband planning processes. Read More
Liquid Telecom announces UGX 2 billion investment in pan-Ugandan internet infrastructureLiquid Telecom has announced UGX 2 bn of investment in its Ugandan subsidiary Infocom, to extend its pan African fibre cable infrastructure across Kampala’s Central Business District and to multiple rural towns across Uganda. Read More
MoboFree marketplace opens shop in NigeriaMoboFree.com, a social market place across Africa,is set to launch its local presence in Lagos, Nigeria as users number grow tremendously. Read More
Bid to restructure Senegal’s online mediaA high-level media forum will be held in Dakar in November to seek ways of restructuring the country’s online media to make it more professional. Read More
Mobile internet “greatly improved” lives of 63% of AfricansSixty-three per cent of mobile internet users in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa have said their lives have been “greatly improved” by being able to access internet via their mobiles, compared to 41 per cent in the United Kingdom (UK). Read More
SAPIS launches virtual event platform to empower real estate professionalsSAPIS, the Sub-Saharan Africa Property Investment Summit, has launched a platform for virtual events to enable Africa’s real estate sector to communicate and participate with ease. Read More
Fibre optic: Congo-Brazzaville releases evaluation reportThe Republic of Congo has released an evaluation report on its fibre optic networks, showing that the country has already completed 53 of the 66 projects to be implemented as part of the country's Central African Backbone. Read More
Agents jostle to join Glo XchangeThe number of mobile money agents around the country has continued to swell as the Glo Xchange train moved to in Imo, Benue, Niger, Plateau and Kogi over the weekend. Read More
FEATURED STORYGrowing African focus on data security
Beachhead Solutions’ new SA and Mauritius country manager explains the challenges and solutions around securing customer data and compliance with new personal information legislation.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHAfrica lags on digital migration
Only three African countries have so far completed the digital migration process, and serious issues are hampering the migration in other nations.
COMPANY NEWSSchneider Electric off-grid, on-profit solutions to create social change in African rural communitie
Schneider Electric South Africa has set itself a target to create access to energy for 20,000 Africans by the end of this year.SAP accelerates shift to the Cloud with 41% revenue growth in third quarter
SAP has once again raised its revenue outlook, reporting broad market adoption of SAP HANA and its ‘Run Simple’ strategy validated.