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A Shopper’s Guide to Black Friday in Nigeria

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For many bargain-hungry shoppers, Black Friday is the period to look forward to. According to the Research and Development Unit of Yudala (www.yudala.com), Nigeria’s pioneer online and offline e-commerce outfit; Black Friday, traditionally the day following Thanksgiving Day in the United States has grown into a worldwide shopping festival.

Here in Nigeria, the case is not different.

With the increasing popularity of commerce and proliferation of e-commerce sites all competing for the attention of price-sensitive shoppers, Black Friday has become unarguably the most anticipated sales activity in the country

Amid promises of huge discounts and massive deals falling on consumers, the anticipation among shoppers often reaches fever-pitch during this period as Black Friday is generally seen as the best time to shop. For the unsuspecting shopper, it is worth stating, nevertheless, that shopping during Black Friday comes with a certain level of caveat emptor –  loosely translated as the principle that the buyer alone is responsible for checking the quality and suitability of goods before a purchase is made.

Yudala shares useful tips to guide you through the Black Friday shopping fiesta.

Make a list

To get the best out of the mad rush that characterizes Black Friday in Nigeria, preparation is key. Creating a list of the items you need will not help you get a sense of what you want; it will also go a long way in ensuring you gather some critical intelligence on the items you want to purchase which will save you time in the long run. If a deep freezer or 54-inch TV, for instance, are among your most sought-after possessions, the act of including them in a list would naturally see you do some research among the major players to understand which models are in vogue, current prices for the specific choices you desire and the likely discounts or bundles that will come with Black Friday.

Draw up a budget

This may sound easy but a lot of shoppers often miss out on this simple rule. It is important to develop a budget to guide your Black Friday shopping. Working with a pre-determined list of items and budget will ensure you do not fall into the trap of impulse buying which may see you end up with items you do not necessarily need, while missing out on the essential ones you require. This is not to rule out the occasional sweet deal or an irresistible bundled offer you may go out of your way to grab. Having a budget, however, undoubtedly gives you a focus which helps you get the best out of Black Friday.

Sign up to the Platform

Preparation will help you get the early and best deals; which is why it is important to sign up to newsletters and social media platforms to stay in the loop and get the latest news on the special offers for Black Friday. With this, you will get regular updates on all the exciting deals on desired products in the lead up and during the campaign.

Quality matters

Black Friday is often a time for a massive push from various e-commerce platforms all seeking to get a slice of the shopping pie. A number of grey or sub-standard products also find their way into the mix, especially from e-commerce outfits without a clear products sourcing channel or those who work with an infinite number of middlemen. To ensure your fingers do not get burnt, it is best to stick to a platform that offers you guaranteed genuine products and that is willing to stake its reputation on that.

Seeing and touching works better than just seeing

To get the best out of Black Friday, it is very important to get a chance to see, touch and experience the product(s) you wish to buy before parting with your hard-earned money. You can check out the items online and then visit the offline store to see it physically before completing the purchase process. This works better than just relying on the online version which may not be the same thing you get when delivered. Often it is best to shop with an e-commerce platform that offers you a chance to see, touch, experience the product and get useful feedback from staff on after-sales support and other issues rather than an impersonal online-only platform.

Self-fulfil, if possible

For many, Black Friday comes with sad tales of long delays, unfulfilled deliveries and canceled orders. To avoid falling a victim, it is best to shop from an e-commerce platform with a physical offline store where you can self-fulfil or choose to personally pick up your item. While others are lamenting the items they failed to get, you will be one of the few savvy shoppers smiling and wishing that Black Friday never ends.

 

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek believes that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. So since 2007, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and how they affect lives.

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E-Business

Court Adjourns Hearing of BVN Suit to March 1

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The Federal Government on Tuesday requested for an adjournment over suit challenging its forfeiture order it secured from a Federal High Court in Abuja, to take over of monies not linked to Bank Verification Number (BVN).

The case was instituted by Access Bank and 19 other banks on behalf of the depositors affected by the interim forfeiture order by the Federal High Court, Abuja.

The lead counsel to the Federal Government,  Ade Okeaya-Inneh (SAN), leading two other Senior Advocate of Nigeria told the court that he and his team just took over the case file and needed time to study it.

Counsel to Access Bank and others, led by Paul Usoro (SAN) did not raise any objection to the respondents request for adjournment and the trial Judge, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba adjourned the matter till March 1, 2018, for hearing.

It would be recalled that Justice Dimgba on October 17, 2017, granted all the nine reliefs sought by Abubakar Malami (SAN) , Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, including an interim forfeiture of all monies not linked to BVN, to the Federal Government.

Justice Dimgba who gave the order following a motion exparte brought before him by the Federal Government also ordered banks to disclose any investment made with funds from accounts without BVN in any product,  interest incurred and other relevant information related to the transaction made on the accounts.

The court ordered all the 19 Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) operating in the country to release to federal government names of accounts not yet connected to BVN; account numbers; their outstanding balances; domiciling locations; and domiciliary accounts without BVN and where they are domiciled.

Nigeria deposit money banks that were listed as respondents in the ex-parte suit are Access Bank, Citi Bank, Diamond Bank, Ecobank, Fidelity Bank, First Bank and First City Monument Bank.

Others are: Guarantee Trust Bank, Heritage Bank, Keystone Bank, Skye Bank, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Sterling Bank, Union Bank, United Bank for Africa, Unity Bank, Wema Bank and Zenith Bank.

The banks were also directed to publish all bank accounts not linked to BVN in national newspapers with a 14-day notice for individuals with interest in such accounts to come forward and justify why their funds should not be forfeited to the Nigerian government.

Justice Dimgba also ordered the CBN, which was joined as 20th respondent alongside the 19 DMBs, to appoint an official who will examine all the details submitted to the apex bank for compliance.

The government argued the matter under Section 3 of the Money Laundering Act, 2011, which provides that, banks must, “Ensure that documents, data or information collected under the customer due diligence process is kept up-to-date and relevant by undertaking reviews of existing records, particularly for higher risk categories of customers or business relationships.”

The BVN is a unique identification number that can be verified and used to transact business across all the banking platforms in Nigeria.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) imposed the policy to capture customers’ data for financial transactions and check fraud in the banking system.

Registration for BVNs commenced on February 14, 2014, across the country and the apex bank has disclosed that over 20.8 million customers enrolled 40 million bank accounts before the October 31, 2015, final deadline for customers residing within the country.

The CBN extended the deadline for Nigerians in the diaspora to December 2016 to sign up for the BVN system.

But hundreds of thousands, home and abroad are still believed to be left behind.

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Visa Launches Pilot Test of Biometric EMV Cards

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Visa has initiated the first commercial test of an EMV dual-interface payment card with on-card biometric ID, according to a press release.

Tests will begin in early 2018 at the Bank of Cyprus and Mountain America Credit Union, as Visa seeks to assess the biometric technology and the cardholder experience in various retail environments.

The Bank of Cyprus will pilot test technology from Gemalto;  Mountain America Credit Union will test a product from Fingerprint Cards and Kona-I.

To use the card, the cardholder places his or her finger on the sensor, which compares the live fingerprint against a template of prints obtained during cardholder enrollment and securely stored on the card. If the prints match, the card an integrated light will flash green. If not, the light will flash red, the release said.

“The world is quickly moving toward a future that will be free of passwords, as consumers realize how biometric technologies can make their lives easier.

As electronic payments expand dramatically around the world, Visa is committed to developing and investing in emerging capabilities that deliver a better, more secure payment experience,” said Jack Forestell, head of global merchant solutions at Visa.

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Internet Solutions Connects to Microsoft Azure Network

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Pan-African Internet services providerInternet Solutions has incorporated its CloudConnect colocation connectivity solution into Microsoft’s Azure ExpressRoute network.

With Internet Solutions’ carrier infrastructure, Azure ExpressRoute users in Africa will link directly to the Microsoft Cloud – including Azure, Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft Dynamics 365 – hosted in Microsoft’s South African data centres when they come online in 2018.

“The ability to link directly and securely to the Microsoft Azure cloud platform locally will significantly increase the performance of our customers using Microsoft’s cloud services in South Africa,” says Gopal Govinder, executive at Internet Solutions.

“We anticipate that this will encourage companies to move more of their workloads into the cloud, so they can take greater advantage of the benefits that cloud technology offers.”

Govinder explains that average latency between SA and London is currently less than 180 milliseconds, while Internet Solutions’ terrestrial network latency is under 20 milliseconds nationally.

According to Govinder, this is a significant boost in regards to accessing critical cloud services such as client account information or stock data.

Internet Solutions will continue to connect organisations to Microsoft’s products through London and Amsterdam exchange points.

“We’re moving towards a global digital economy where enterprises and their service offerings have global reach, but in many ways it is more important than ever to localise delivery. This is what Microsoft is offering by investing in data centres in South Africa,” Govinder says.

Ross Ortega, partner manager, Microsoft Azure Networking at Microsoft, says: “We’re pleased to add Internet Solutions as an option for companies to connect to Microsoft Azure through Azure ExpressRoute. The Microsoft Cloud delivered from Africa through partners like Internet Solutions will help developers build new and innovative apps, and support our mutual customers in their cloud journey.”

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