Mobile money growth is driving direct selling and e-commerce in Africa

Direct selling is creating side income and entrepreneurial options across the world, but in emerging markets like Africa, its popularity is really starting to grow thanks to improved local infrastructure and accessibility features.

“The African direct selling industry is now in a growth phase, but reports show that this industry is growing at a rapid pace due to the rise of micro-entrepreneurship through gig economy jobs. in the region,” says Biram Fall, Regional Managing Director for QNET in Sub-Saharan Africa.

In a press release issued last week during the company’s launch of various mobile money payment options for their independent representatives in Tanzania, Kenya and other parts of Africa, the regional manager said that the rapid growth of direct selling can be attributed in part to the fact that most direct selling business models have a low barrier to entry and flexible hours.

“This means that direct selling requires little start-up capital, which makes it easier to engage young people and women and also allows you to work at your own pace or even as a side job,” he added. .

On the other hand, direct selling is growing rapidly due to the rise of e-commerce in the African region. It is indeed difficult to find a direct selling company in Africa that does not currently have an online component to its services.

Using e-commerce platforms as part of the direct selling business model is the logical path given its current trajectory. For example, the McKinsey report shows that the value of the African e-commerce market will reach US$2.1 trillion by 2025, as more than 40% of all Africans can now access some sort of internet from home. , leading to increased access to e-commerce. online retailers and services.

“The global pandemic has also played a significant role, due to social distancing and lockdowns, the pandemic has caused distributors and customers to rely on e-commerce transactions to meet their product demands,” said he continued.

Given these developments, QNET, a direct selling company with customers in different parts of Sub-Saharan Africa, is now integrating direct selling, e-commerce and mobile money to chart the next evolution of the local mobile money scene. direct sale.

In 2019, Mobile Money had 1 billion registered users in Africa. Mobile payment systems have underlined the accelerated growth of the e-commerce sector as it has proven to be a more efficient medium for transactions.

These payment systems have enabled greater financial inclusion, reduced the risk of fraud and theft, and eliminated reliance on intermediaries for money transfers in many African countries.

The biggest advantage of using Mobile Money is that it is directly linked to a mobile number instead of a bank account, which makes it safer and more efficient than other payment methods, because funds can be viewed and tracked easily from your mobile phone anytime and anywhere.

For her part, Malou Caluza, CEO of QNET, highlighted the fact that women, in particular, find mobile wallets very convenient as it gives them unprecedented access to flexible working opportunities such as direct selling.

“With more than half of the direct selling industry being women, integrating Mobile Money will help them build their network because of the increased accessibility it provides,” she said.

With a growing population of over 400 million internet users, the next decade for e-commerce and m-commerce in Africa looks brighter than ever.

“The inclusion of mobile payments will create an increasingly favorable environment for those who aspire to build their own business through direct selling,” summarized the CEO.

Currently, the company has rolled out Mobile Money for its customers and distributors in Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi and Ghana and is planning further expansion in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Casey J. Nelson