Efi Dahan is the regional director, Africa and Israel, PayPal. In his role, Dahan is responsible for market development, creating partnership with large merchants, collaboration with banks and channels as well as consumer acquisition. He is also focused on cooperation with startups and introduction of new technologies to PayPal. Prior to joining PayPal he was a co-founder and CEO of BUY2, one of the largest group buying companies in Israel, where he drove the company from its inception to becoming a market leader. In Buy2 Dahan gained a broad firsthand experience with e-commerce and digital payment domains. Before that he was VP Business Development at Aniboom, a VC backed innovative startup and the first global virtual studio for Animation. Previously Dahan served as general manager of Content division at Comverse where he led the company’s content strategy, business activity and services to tier 1 mobile operator worldwide. Dahan has a BA in finance and economics as well as LL.B from IDC Herzliya, the first private institution of higher education in Israel. In this interview with peter ugwu, he disclosed PayPal’s plans for the Nigerian e-payment space.
PayPal’s Assessment of Nigeria Peculiarities
The Nigerian consumers love to shop online. In a research conducted by Ipsos on behalf of PayPal in November 2014 in Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya, we found that Nigerian shoppers are the most advanced when it comes to e-commerce, when compared to South African and Kenyan shoppers. In fact, 89% of internet users in Nigeria already shop online or expect to do so in the future. Nigerians who have shopped online in the past said faster delivery of good, safer ways to pay and lower product costs are drivers for them to do more shopping online.
Level of PayPal Acceptance
The PayPal adoption rate among Nigerians so far is very positive and we expect it to continue to grow in the future. PayPal’s popularity and usage is growing, to the extent that 72% of online shoppers in Nigeria, aware of PayPal, agree it is the safest online payment method, according to the Ipsos research. There are millions of people in Nigeria who are eager to engage in online commerce and our goal is to help them make payments more easily and securely.
What PayPal ‘Feared’ That Delayed Its Launch In The Market
The word ‘fear’ is inaccurate. Entering any new market requires investment as well as careful planning and preparation. We take our responsibility to manage people’s money very seriously, we have to balance our desire to make our services available for everyone with our desire to expand our services in existing markets. We don’t enter a new market unless we believe we can manage the risks; we have spent more than a decade building a risk management infrastructure that can be adapted to new market opportunities.
Ipsos’s Study On Nigeria, Others
Since we launched the service in June 2014, Nigeria has grown rapidly in terms on numbers of users. In the Ipsos research mentioned above, we found that PayPal is the second most often used online payment system (after Google Wallet/ Google Checkout which is probably mostly used to purchase apps from Google Play). We also found that consumers agree PayPal is a fast (85%), convenient (83%) and safe way to pay online (73%).
PayPal’s Perception on the Future of Mobile Money or e-Wallet on the African Continent
People are becoming more comfortable with online transactions as convenience is key. Based on the Ipsos research mentioned above, 24% of internet users who do not currently shop online expect to do so in the future. To help customers overcome their barriers when it comes to online shopping, we offer them a faster, easier and more secure payment method.
With e-commerce anchored on the convergence of mobile, with particular reference to Sub-Saharan Africa, is trust still a major issue?
The answer is yes. Again, referring to the Ipsos research, we found that 31% of Nigerian internet users are concerned about security of online payment and have stated it as a barrier to start shopping online and 26% are concernced they will not receive the item they bought. 40% have indicated having a safer way to pay online would drive them to shop more. This is a key reason for PayPal’s popularity in Nigeria. Trust is the foundation of our customer relationships, when you make a payment with PayPal, we do not share your financial informationwith the seller. This gives our customers more control and provides them with an extra layer of security.
Other Issues To Be Addressed For Improved e-Payment Africa
Trust is parmount to encourage consumers to shift from the popular cash on delivery payment option. Aside from providing safer ways to pay online, addressing delivery issues is also key to the development of e-commerce in Nigeria. Offering faster, more flexible and reliable delivery will surely have a great impact in driving consumers to shop online.
Plans for Nigeria
Currently, we offer Nigerians the opportunity to register for free for a PayPal account to make payments on overseas websites. Over time, we plan to expand our service offering in Nigeria to include services that will lead to better experiences in online and mobile payment methods in Nigeria.
Has PayPal Opened The Way For Africans To Enjoy The PayPal Global Payment Service, The Payflow Gateway and Bill Me Later?
At this stage, we pride ourselves in helping Nigerian consumers to shop online at thousands of retailers around the world with greater ease and with the confidence that their financial information is kept more secure and not shared with the seller.
What Other Plans Do You Have For The Market?
We are constantly innovating and looking for new ways to meet the needs of our customer. While we do not comment on future plans, we can confirm that we are evaluating ways to improve our product offerings to best serve the needs of our customers in this market.