3.29.2014

Limits To E-commerce Abound

By Godlove BAINKONG, Cameroon Tribune, 27-03-2014
Payment procedures, authenticity, availability and quality of the product… still problematic.
Cameroon since 2010 boasts of a regulatory framework on electronic commerce (trade). This is through Law N° 2010/021 of 21 December 2010 on electronic commerce in the country. The legal instrument gives stakeholders the leeway to use the internet to place orders for products over a network with the computer as intermediary. As good as the business may be given that it is time-effective, a litany of hitches exist which if cleared, could be a veritable booster to the innovation from the traditional floor trading.
 Payment Procedures
Payments for products shopped online are done through electronic fund transfer. Many online banking services allow users to send money straight from their bank accounts to the retailer, as long as they have an e-mail address and they also use online banking. Some require users to register for an intermediary service, like PayPal, in order to pay for goods. Once you’ve registered, you can choose to send funds directly from your bank account, from a separate PayPal account or by credit card. Either ways require knowledge and prior agreement with the retailer which may be inconvenient to some buyers.
According to Emmanuel Keng Ngong, an online buyer “It is easy, flexible, time to compare from many shops, variety and less energy. But hmmmm! when not careful, scams, products may appear physically different from what you see online, sometimes your credit card is hacked, delays do occur. May be expensive since you have to pay shipping cost when it comes to buying from abroad.” But when it comes to selling and buying within the country, urbanization problems and the low rate of bankarisation stand as speed brakes.
“Well there can be many steps to go through. Site can be slow, some shops require you to access through social network like facebook where some of your personal infos can be exposed,” Emmanuel said. Another online business customer, Elias Yang, a writer, told Cameroon Tribune that “I pay some services to my publishers online. Internet connection at times disturbs. But within the country, the business to me is almost nonexistent, no credit cards” he said.
Product Authenticity, Availability 
Without exaggerating, a choice of a product made online may not be as sure as one made physically. Stories of people ordering goods online only to discover that the face value is not up to what they saw or were told abound. There is also the problem of availability of stock where some products advertised do not have sufficient stock to meet growing demand.>>>

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