Home Innovation Fintext revolution transforms the commerce landscape in emerging economies
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Fintext revolution transforms the commerce landscape in emerging economies

by wrich

By Michael Wallis-Brown, Co-Founder & CEO, BAIA Group

Michael Wallis-Brown, Co-Founder & CEO, BAIA Group

Emerging markets are dynamic by definition and it is fair to say the landscape has changed dramatically in the last few decades.  The pace of change shows no signs of easing and whilst the speed of acceleration creates challenges in the marketplace, it also offers a breeding ground for innovation and growth in these markets. A clear example of this can be seen in the payments arena which has already seen big transformations as integration with mobile technology and e- commerce increases. 

However, there is still a digital divide in these economies, as 50% of the global population lack mobile internet and therefore are only left with the option of face-to-face commerce. In fact, in Africa 95% of transactions are cash, which leaves Agents, Buyers and Sellers at risk as it makes them vulnerable to errors, fraud and theft. The global cash economy is a US$19 Trillion opportunity, with most transactions between smallholder producers and buyers still carried out with cash payments.  Despite the shift to electronic and digital methods happening in some countries cash is still the predominant form of payment.

As economic challenges mount there is a huge opportunity to serve the growing appetite of traders as the current infrastructure in emerging markets for commerce is inefficient.  The lack of payment trails with face to face, analogue and cash-based commerce, to lack of data capture within the unstructured and informal market down to a lack of trust and reliability with unverified and undocumented processes. 

3.2bn of mobile users own a messaging app capable device with a third of mobile users having a feature phone and 2G connectivity and messaging is the only way to communicate and do commerce.  At Baia we are seeing more and more consumers active in their chat apps and the chat commerce market has seen significant growth over the last few years with 7.7 billion users compared to 4.7 billion internet users. Brands really need to move beyond the traditional methods of desktop and email to leverage this preferred channel to engage with customers for support, engagement, and now payments.

Supporting Agents, Buyers and Sellers to master their market through collaboration to gain deeper insights and to smartly connect and safely transact with trusted connections using messaging is paving the way forward.  By enabling large businesses and SMEs across the globe to notarise ‘face to face’ transactions in informal markets via messaging helps provide businesses with a trusted and reliable commerce solution for the hyper local, cash-based, messaging enabled markets that are prolific within emerging economies and will without a doubt help these businesses prosper.  Helping empower agents (gig workers) across the board by ensuring they have all necessary critical information at their fingertips to maximise their productivity, increase their profit and ease of transaction and most importantly, know that every product and sale is one hundred percent secure is a vital lifeline for business to thrive.

Baia is a collaborative commerce platform powered by a messaging interface with unique optimisation technology at its core (BAIAs secret sauce). The innovation behind the solution enables data capture and tracking across the whole supply chain of agents, goods, services, assets, and cash; supporting agents, buyers, and sellers alike to master their market with deeper insights into information or opportunities to smartly connect and safely transact.  At Baia, we spotted an opportunity to create a middle ground – a trusted mediator without intrusion, that enables a digital ledger of every exchange, agreement, and negotiation as well as comprehensive customised dashboard that tracks the KPIs and bespoke metrics that matter most to the user, while constantly supporting the entire process through a powerful computation tool that delivers a verifiable increase in productivity. 

By bridging this gap between online and offline transactions, traders and agents across all emerging markets have all necessary critical information at their fingertips to maximise their productivity, increase their profit and ease of transaction and most importantly, know that every product and sale is one hundred percent secure. 

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