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Digital-wary drawn to etail

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Although e-commerce is taking the world by storm, its uptake is still rather slow in South Africa. VUYO MPAKO of Standard Bank believes this is mainly to do with our high broadband costs and limited Internet access.

E-commerce may be taking the world by storm, but South Africans remain wary of shopping online, with only three million making regular use of electronic shopping trollies to meet their daily requirements. But, with online purchases expected to near R10 billion in 2016, indications are that changing socio-economic factors will increase the use of digital shopping as technology becomes more accessible.

According to Vuyo Mpako, Head of Digital Channels and eCommerce at Standard Bank, two of the major problems facing South Africans are limited access to the internet and the cost of broadband. Mpako adds that although uncapped access to fibre networks is increasing in homes across the country, the cost – usually more than R600 a month – restricts access to those in higher-income brackets.

“As making homeowners’ access to fibre a viable economic proposition relies on high consumer take-up numbers, suppliers naturally target major urban areas. Thus, it is the cities and higher-income neighbourhoods that receive services. For e-commerce to become popular beyond city limits, the traditional barriers of large distances and poor infrastructure have to be overcome.”

Factors impacting on e-commerce sales locally include:

·         A lack of trust in making online transactions

·         The belief that internet purchases can only be made if the shopper has a credit card

·         The internet may not be cheaper than local retail outlets

·         Local buyers tending to buy non-food items only, such as music, videos, gifts, clothing and software online

“The true potential of e-commerce in South Africa can be seen from the fact that, although there are only about three million people using facilities regularly, the value of purchases made annually is increasing steadily,” Mr Mpako continues. “World Wide Worx indicates that a milestone of 1.03% of total retail sales of nearly R10 billion will be expected to be made online in 2016.

“Increasing use of e-shopping will be made by young South Africans who have high levels of computer literacy and are comfortable with using applications, or apps, that make access to services easier.

“Presently, this sector, comprising people between the ages of 25 and 35, makes up the bulk of e-commerce users. Not surprisingly, young South Africans between the ages of 25 and 34 make up the bulk of e-shoppers, followed by those between 35 and 44 – about 16% of the total.”

As predicted by experts, adds Mr Mpako, the increasing market penetration of smartphones is set to add further impetus to the use of e-shopping channels.

“While South Africa’s internet penetration lies at 34%, mobile phone penetration lies at 86%, according to World Wide Work numbers, and probably more than 50% of the adult population. As these mobile devices become more sophisticated, they bring easier access to streams of information and opportunities.

“Every facet of life is impacted by smart technology. Phones are used for everything from banking transactions to monitoring fitness levels and ordering groceries. It is inevitable that with the high penetration of smartphones in the market, more South Africans will be drawn to use their phone’s offerings.

“There is no doubt that as more services converge on smartphones, adoption levels will increase. Local consumers may at present be slow to adopt the technology, but more will see the value e-commerce offers. As this occurs, more people will come to trust the medium, realising the time saving benefit and potential for the medium to add real value to their lives. This will boost e-commerce and see larger numbers of South Africans moving into a digital shopping environment.”

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Now download a bank account

Absa has introduced an end-to-end account opening for new customers, through the Absa Banking App, which can be downloaded from the Android and Apple app stores. This follows the launch of the world first ChatBanking on WhatsApp service.

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This “download your account” feature enables new customers to Absa, to open a Cheque account, order their card and start transacting on the Absa Banking App, all within minutes, from anywhere and at any time, by downloading it from the App stores.

“Overall, this new capability is not only expected to enhance the customer’s digital experience, but we expect to leverage this in our branches, bringing digital experiences to the branch environment and making it easier for our customers to join and bank with us regardless of where they may be,” says Aupa Monyatsi, Managing Executive for Virtual Channels at Absa Retail & Business Banking.

“With this innovation comes the need to ensure that the security of our customers is at the heart of our digital experience, this is why the digital onboarding experience for this feature includes a high-quality facial matching check with the Department of Home Affairs to verify the customer’s identity, ensuring that we have the most up to date information of our clients. Security is supremely important for us.”

The new version of the Absa Banking App is now available in the Apple and Android App stores, and anyone with a South African ID can become an Absa customer, by following these simple steps:

  1. Download the Absa App
  2. Choose the account you would like to open
  3. Tell us who you are
  4. To keep you safe, we will verify your cell phone number
  5. Take a selfie, and we will do facial matching with the Department of Home Affairs to confirm you are who you say you are
  6. Tell us where you live
  7. Let us know what you do for a living and your income
  8. Click Apply.

 

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How we use phones to avoid human contact

A recent study by Kaspersky Lab has found that 75% of people pick up their connected device to avoid conversing with another human being.

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Connected devices are becoming essential to keeping people in contact with each other, but for many they are also a much-needed comfort blanket in a variety of social situations when they do not want to interact with others. A recent survey from Kaspersky Lab has confirmed this trend in behaviour after three-quarters of people (75%) admitted they use a device to pretend to be busy when they don’t want to talk to someone else, showing the importance of keeping connected devices protected under all circumstances. 

Imagine you’ve arrived at a bar and you’re waiting for your date. The bar is busy, and people are chatting all around you. What do you do now? Strike up a conversation with someone you don’t know? Grab your phone from your pocket or handbag until your date arrives to keep yourself busy? Why talk to humans or even make eye-contact with someone else when you can stare at your connected device instead?

The truth is, our use of devices is making it much easier to avoid small talk or even be polite to those around us, and new Kaspersky Lab research has found that 72% of people use one when they do not know what to do in a social situation. They are also the ‘go-to’ distraction for people even when they aren’t trying to look busy or avoid someone’s eye. 46% of people admit to using a device just to kill time every day and 44% use it as a daily distraction.

In addition to just being a distraction, devices are also a lifeline to those who would rather not talk directly to another person in day-to-day situations, to complete essential tasks. In fact, nearly a third (31%) of people would prefer to carry out tasks such as ordering a taxi or finding directions to where they need to go via a website and an app, because they find it an easier experience than speaking with another person.

Whether they are helping us avoid direct contact or filling a void in our daily lives, our constant reliance on devices has become a cause for panic when they become unusable. A third (34%) of people worry that they will not be able to entertain themselves if they cannot access a connected device. 12% are even concerned that they won’t be able to pretend to be busy if their device is out of action.

Dmitry Aleshin, VP for Product Marketing, Kaspersky Lab said, “The reliance on connected devices is impacting us in more ways than we could have ever expected. There is no doubt that being connected gives us the freedom to make modern life easier, but devices are also vital to help people get through different and difficult social situations. No matter what your ‘connection crutch’ is, it is essential to make sure your device is online and available when you need it most.”

To ensure your device lifeline is always there and in top health – no matter what the reason or situation – Kaspersky Security Cloud keeps your connection safe and secure:

·         I want to use my device while waiting for a friend – is it secure to access the bar’s Wi-Fi?

With Kaspersky Security Cloud, devices are protected against network threats, even if the user needs to use insecure public Wi-Fi hotspots. This is done through transferring data via an encrypted channel to ensure personal data safety, so users’ devices are protected on any connection.

·         Oh no! I’m bored but my phone’s battery is getting low – what am I going to do?

Users can track their battery level thanks to a countdown of how many minutes are left until their device shuts down in the Kaspersky Security Cloud interface. There is also a wide-range of portable power supplies available to keep device batteries charged while on-the-go.

·         I’ve lost my phone! How will I keep myself entertained now?

Should the unthinkable happen and you lose or have your phone stolen, Kaspersky Security Cloud can track and protect your device from data breaches, for complete peace of mind. Remote lock and locate features ensure your device remains secure until you are reunited.

 

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