June 16, 2011
Slimtrader lets Africans shop via text
In developing countries, where large numbers of people donít even have access to electricity, much less the Internet, ecommerce is something of a challenge.
SlimTrader allows consumers to shop for goods and services via text messages (SMS). According to CEO, Femi Akinde, who was just selected as a TEDGlobal fellow, itís the first platform in Africa to do so. Africa has more than 300 million mobile phone users. Venture Beat reports.
SlimTrader links directly into the inventory, ordering and payment databases of participating businesses. Users can query the availability of products and make purchases by sending an SMS. Payment is made via mobile money services like M-PESA, Airtel, MTN, Mobile Money and Interswitch. In fact, SlimTrader is part of the next wave of mobile services in developing countries which build on the payment infrastructure created by services like M-PESA.
Customers range from airlines to fertilizer companies. Using Slimtrader a subsistence farmer can search for local suppliers of fertilizer, compare prices and order via SMS.
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