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Surepayy Will Boost Africa’s Ecommerce System And Increase Customers Trust In Vendors


March 9, 2022, 2:14 p.m.

E-commerce adoption is stalling in Africa for three main reasons; fake vendors have scammed buyers, leading to mistrust. Buyers don't get value for the item paid, and vendors' ability to sell on social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter is dependent on the network, reach and referrals. The situation makes entry into the market difficult for a new vendor having a little following, a small network and referrals from only family and friends. An African fintech's vision is to create trust and security in social-commerce transactions in Africa.

Called Surepayy and founded by Osita James Uche, Jessica Alliagbor, Emmanuel Nwachukwu and Muhammad Olawale, the fintech startup will act as a digital escrow service facilitating e-commerce adoption in Africa through secure transactions, building credibility for social media vendors and delivery partnerships. Surepayy will also process payments for social commerce using users' handles on Instagram and Twitter (just like in Nigeria) and secure the value of the transaction in escrow accounts until the product is delivered to the vendors.

A recent study of consumer spending by Mastercard in Nigeria shows that 4 out of 5 Nigerians started shopping online after the COVID-19 pandemic. Over 200 million Naira has been lost to internet fraud from Instagram alone, according to the Nigerian Communication Commissions' Emergency Communication Centre (ECC). This underscores the need to have a system that protects social media shoppers from the whims of scammers camouflaging as online vendors. There is a massive opportunity in the informal e-commerce sector. It is fragmented and scattered across several social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The startup that can successfully create a system around this sector that creates value for the shoppers and the vendors will be a winner.

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"We know the hardship sub-Saharan African natives go through as a result of unemployment. Many have resorted to social media to sell various products for a small margin instead of full-time employment. We believe the internet and social media have a great role in democratising access to sales. We are building the digital solution to empower Africans everywhere to participate beneficially in this global trend," Osita expressed to DT Africa.

To gain credibility and trust in the market, the startup has built a flagship product called Sure Review, a Trust Pilot for social media vendors in Africa. Sure Review helps customers build confidence in online vendors through reviews and ranking while assisting vendors to gain visibility, credibility and sales from customers all over Africa and has currently collected the data of over 5000 vendors.

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“We are working on the second version of Sure Review. This time, we are considering including video reviews to take advantage of the global shift towards video content (Tik Tok and Instagram Reels); we will be the pioneers in Africa to build it.”

“This is also in line with the mission of Surepayy to promote e-commerce adoption across Africa leveraging innovative digital technologies. We will leverage vendor loyalty and trust from Sure Review to roll out Surepayy in the second quarter of 2022,” Osita expressed.

In 2021, Osita and his team won the Nigerian University of Technology and Management (NUTM) grant of $3000 for building the most innovative startup idea in a cohort of 60 African tech scholars. Osita and his team again emerged winners in the Founders Live Pitch competition in Lagos, Nigeria. The startup looks forward to raising $300,000 to facilitate product development, operations and regulatory compliance for digital escrow services in Nigeria from the Central Bank. They currently have $55,000 in commitment from Angel investors in Nigeria.

“Our team has grown since last year. We were a team of four co-founders; now we have four software developers, a dedicated digital marketer, a product designer and 22 campus ambassadors (OAU, UI, UNILAG and FUTA),” the CEO stated.


tag: Nigeria, Startup, Fintech,


Verny Joy Author

Verny loves to write poetry, fiction and quotes. Her love for writing landed her in journalism. She loves gadgets and travelling to explore new places.