Finance

Facebook, Ajua sign agreement to empower African SMEs

Facebook and Ajua have signed an agreement to automate commercial interactions and customer support for businesses through WhatsApp.

Ajua, an Integrated Customer Experience Company, becomes the second company in Africa to sign such deals that are directly partnered and integrated with Facebook.

Facebook is currently facilitating the growth of entire economies in Africa through WhatsApp. There has been an upsurge of businesses on the continent taking advantage of the platform to sell goods and provide services. This has created a growing need for social media-based customer support to drive a holistic shopping experience.

Ajua’s Janja platform enables automated customer support, borderless banking, and payments across apps and social media platforms. The platform aims to change how people shop and engage with customers by making the process quick, easy, and painless.

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Speaking about the impact of the partnership to businesses in Africa, the Vice Principal in charge of Product and Merchant Services for Ajua, Teddy Ogallo, said: “Ajua aims to implement a combination of its proven Ajua 360 platform, Ajua Merchant and the award winning Janja solution to give businesses across Africa, an accessible set of tools that will help them increase their market reach, receive secure payments on mass reach platforms like WhatsApp and automate customer issue resolution and feedback collection. Businesses across Ajua’s African markets will now be able to access WhatsApp business API in minutes, upload their products, knowledge-base of their services and start enjoying an enhanced interaction with their customers straight from their mobile phones or web devices without having to invest in cumbersome integrations or enterprise sales cycles.”

The partnership is expected to revolutionise e-commerce for Micro-Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Africa by making the shopping experience more seamless for customers, which could result in more sales. With over 40 million SMEs in Nigeria alone, Ajua will be able to maximise their revenues and increase their operational efficiency by automating their customer interactions.

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WhatsApp has become the preferable platform for small businesses in Africa. Kenya has the highest percentage of monthly WhatsApp users compared to the rest of the world.

According to the Global Web Index’s 2020 Social Media User Trends Report, 97 per cent of internet users in Kenya use WhatsApp every month. In Nigeria, approximately 33 million people are active on social media with over 90 million users as of January 2021.

As several SMEs continue to look for ways to acquire more customers, many are beginning to realise that exceeding customer expectations is key to standing out above their competitors and improving customer retention, Ogallo said.

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