By Eva Adongo
RetailPay platform was built to bring back trust in the retail sector and to address the daily inefficiencies experienced in the industry which has led to an increase in commodity prices which have an adverse effect on the common mwananchi (ordinary citizen).
RetailPay is a technology solution which offers end-to-end visibility and traceability of products while ensuring real-time payments. The solution connects all participants in the retail ecosystem including retailers, suppliers, financiers, insurance and logistics, and ensures that each provides and receives value.
With the support of Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and FSD Kenya in conjunction with BrandKE and the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI), RetailPay has completed the first phase of the experiment where over 200 small and micro retailers have been onboarded onto the platform. Of these retailers, 57% are female owned or run with 46% being between the ages of 30-39. On the other hand, over 60 suppliers have been either onboarded and/or are supplying directly to retailers through the platform.
The retailers have testified that their businesses have turned around since they started using the RetailPay platform. Many have been able to manage their finances better as the platform records all transactions. The retailers have reported that they can now establish sales and profits while saving cash realized from sales in their digital wallets.
Importantly, retailers can access goods on credit from RetailPay-participating suppliers using the consignment model, which ensures they only pay for goods once sold.
Additionally, retailers have the advantage of stocking products based on demand, which means they would need not to stock products in bulk. This frees up their capital, making them financially flexible to expand their businesses and engage in other economically viable activities.
Through feedback from retailers, RetailPay is continually improving the retailers’ experience to make it more user friendly. Also, in order to shorten the time taken for support, we have introduced Account Managers besides existing support team whose role is to support the retailer on technical and business needs 24/7.
More suppliers are now interacting with the system, being able to withdraw payment from the platform as well as analysing product movement. They have also been using the RetailPay platform in the marketplace in areas to do with promotions and curbing counterfeit products.
Through FSD Kenya/Sida, a Kshs. 30M bank guarantee has been extended to onboarded suppliers as a formal assurance of payment even as they supply using the consignment model. The guarantee will go a long way in re-building trust with suppliers to enable end-end consignment business model while insurance offers extra comfort to the same suppliers in case of “unexplained losses.”
RetailPay plans to onboard 400 retail stores in 2020 with a projection of 3,500 stores by the end of the five-year project. The data emanating from interacting with the RetailPay platform will go a big way in making strategic decisions in term of production. This is besides improving operations efficiency in the retail value chain.
Name: Jane Moraa, 30
Obed Crescent, Kasarani
“I became a part of RetailPay in April this year. I was drawn to RetailPay because they offered me a variety of goods which I didn’t have before like Quencher water and Prestige margarine. Even better, I can track my shop progress at a glance online.”
Name: Noah Kosgei , 37
Silas Tuitoek Shop, Kahawa Wendani
“RetailPay has helped our business grow since we now get products which we didn’t have before. The float system is also good because it keeps us financially accountable. I always recommend it to my colleagues.”