A new app called Brorno (locale) from StreetStreams is proposing to link petty traders/micro-merchants within particular vicinities to buyers who live within 500 meters radius of the community for easy access to customers for the traders/merchants, as well as quicker and cheaper deliveries for the consumers.
Currently, the main e-commerce apps seem to link consumers to merchants who are often miles away from their location and for that reason, delivery fees are high and it takes hours to days, and sometimes weeks for one item to be delivered.
But what the Brorno App proposes to do is to obtain data from various organisations who work with merchants and vendors and feed those data into the app, such that when a buyer makes a request, it would be easy to link that buyer to the nearest merchant/vendor within 500 meters of his/her location.
Very soon, individual petty traders/merchants can also download the App from Google Play Store and Apple Store and register as merchants or register with any of the company’s accredited agents. The company is at the final stages of getting the app on both platforms.
One very key convenience and security feature of the app is that when a consumer makes an order and pays via mobile money, he/she will get an order confirmation response almost immediately. But if that does not happen within five minutes, the consumer will get a refund.
Founder of Street Streams, Eric Nsarkoh has been explaining that when consumers make payments, the money is kept in an escrow account until the item is delivered before they forward the money to the merchant. So if the merchant does not respond to the buyer within the stipulated time the money will be returned to the buyer.
He noted that by connecting buyers and sellers within various communities, leveraging digital channels, the app is helping to scale the micro merchant/petty traders, deepen digital adoption and support development.
“Our solution creates an optimised market that facilitates the much needed engagement between buyers who require convenience and sellers who require scale,” he said. “We provide an opportunity to harness the strength of the informal sector, integrating their output into our local economy in quick easy steps.”
In general, the business model of Street Streams is to improving market access for petty traders, providing safe and easy payment transactions, provide affordable pricing for retail customers, implement a sustainable fee structure for vendors and offer quicker and cheaper deliveries.
The other ways by which Street Streams ensure affordability for the consumer is that it places only about 5% commission on the product as its service charge, which is lower than what the industry offers. The app also allows the consumer to decide when to pick up the order from the merchant’s location for of pay for a delivery service.
Eric Nsarkoh has been explaining how the app works in the video below:
Eric Nsarkoh has many years of rich experience in creating high-impact scalable digital platforms, and leading very talented teams to deliver some of the very successful digital solutions on the industry. He as worked with almost all the telcos in Ghana in top management positions.
At MTN, Eric, a trained Engineer, served as Head of Business Solutions and also Head of Sales, where his role was mainly to develop and sell digital solutions to enterprises. But prior to that, he had worked as Chief Information Officer (CIO) for Airtel, Tigo and Ghana Breweries Limited (GBL) at different times. Currently, he is the Head of Engineering for Stanbic Bank.
Prior to all that, his career had travelled through sales, engineering, project management, audit and more with organisations such as British American Tobacco, Price Waterhouse Coopers, KPMG, The Castle (the then seat of Ghana government) and Heineken, where he was on secondment from GBL.
Expanding the tax net
At Street Streams, Eric says he is heading a very talented and experienced team made up of people who have more than what it takes to rope in millions of traders/micro-merchants into the financial sector, making them visible to the tax collector, and thereby helping to expand the tax net in a more practical way.
He noted that the Ghana Union of Traders Associations (GUTA) reports a registered membership of over 2.5 million, which is far higher than the number of merchants registered on the various platforms run by telcos and fintechs in the country.
But Eric Nsarkoh added the 2.5 million registered traders represents just about a quarter of the actual numbers of merchants and micro-merchants in the country, meaning there are about 7.5 million more merchants, who represent an untapped market for digital finance platforms and potential sources of tax revenue for government.
He is very confident that, Brorno, which is designed to work like platforms such as Amazon, Alibaba and others, will, not only help micro-merchants/petty traders to scale up, but also be a key driver of national development by helping to expand the tax net significant, and helping government to cut back on over dependence on the fiscal economy.