OurPass, a Nigeria-based startup one-click firm has announced that it has closed a 1 million dollar pre-seed round to be evident round the country, in a round piloted by Tekedia Capital and angel investors from Fortune 500 companies. The company, which describes itself as the ‘Fast for Africa’, though building a global product, it is limited in Africa, but has taken a keen interest to build one for the market.
Chief Executive Officer of OurPass, Mr. Samuel Eze while noting that E-commerce checkout issues is a problem the company is familiar with through a second-hand experience opined in an interview with TechCrunch:
“I watched my mother struggle to shop online where I saw her set up multiple accounts on different platforms while going through a rigorous checkout process. In many cases, she ended up dropping the card and moving on to a different online store. Seeing the same pattern happens with other friends and family, I had to dive into it and found that it was actually a major headache for consumers and online retailers.”
The e-commerce in the world’s most populous nation can be said to still be heavily reliant on cash on delivery as evident in a 2019 survey that showed 70 percent of Nigerians preferring cash on delivery options to making pre-order payment online.
According to Statista, 27 percent of payments performed online are now being done with cards, overshadowing cash and bank transfers as the most acceptable payment method. But in all this, checkout remains a major headache for merchants as about 75 percent of shopping carts are abandoned as a result of the cumbersome checkout experiences, especially with long forms and re-log ins.
OurPass identified this challenge and decided to step in. In a bid to solve the problem, the firm built a mobile app to enable users shop with a click. In the app, first time consumers sign up on the OurOass platform, enter their names, email and shopping address, an identity will then be created for each customer by OurPass, and then passed across every online store they shop. Seamless you say?
“We built an identity layer across the web to enable consumer identity to be sent across to every single online store they go to check out from,” said Eze.
This would in essence solve the re-logging problem as customers will not need to fill any form again but there is a limitation: costumers will only be able to shop with merchants that has OurPass API linked to their platforms.
A lot of questions would come to the fore. One of them is why OurPass is taking the route of having its own ecosystem of merchants and consumers. An example is in ‘Fast’s case’ where only the merchants will be able to install ‘Fast Checkout’, while the users can access the service through an e-commerce or merchant website. In OurPass case, users will have to download an application and shop with merchants using the platform.
OurPass had initially allowed its users to fill in their payment card details in their first stint of filling the form without having to download an application, but after several reported cases of payment gateways flagging OurPass consumer’s cards and failed transactions, the company switched to a wallet strategy and built an application for its consumers.
“We did not want to defeat our USP of one-click checkout by allowing consumers to try to check out in one-click only for them to see their cards flagged as fraudulent,” Eze said. “Hence the reason why we had to build our system on a wallet system to enable that one-click checkout.”
The implication of this is that consumers and merchants will be assigned virtual account numbers which will be used in a wallet. Users will hence need to fund their wallets when they check out form a store and once they check out, the funds get transferred to the merchants’ wallets. OurPass CEO further inferred that this method helps the company captures value end to end and offers instant payments instant settlement, which was not the case with payment gateways.
The OurPass firm says it plans to in the future work with merchants on e-commerce platforms, including WooCommerce, Magento, Squarespace and Shopify in the future and social commerce platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram.
Apart from its one-click checkout, OurPass also offers free delivery on all orders for customers, with the company effectively partnering with logistics companies like MAX.ng and Gokada to make this happen.
OurPass charges 0.8% per transaction, capped at N1,000 (~$20) for merchants and a commission of 5 percent on every product sold, with the future plan to introduce subscriptions in the offing.
Ever since its launch in May 2021, OurPass is being said to have done about $500, 000 transactions and it is believed its sporadic, consistent growth will make become a darling for consumer-checkouts platform users in Nigeria by the year 2023.
The CEO of OurPass, further hinted that the company would before the end of next year develop its own technology, while growing its team further upfront.