Why do I have to log in and log out from different e-commerce sites as I shop online? Shopping can be a whole lot more fun if a fast logging and checkout system existed across all your favourite online stores.
In the U.S., high-flying startup Fast already caters to this need. Although the company is building a global product, it is limited in Africa, and OurPass has taken an interest to build one for the market.
The Nigeria-based startup has also clinched a $1 million pre-seed round to scale up its services across the country. The round, led by Tekedia Capital and angel investors from Fortune 500 companies, has now placed the young startup on the fintech map on the continent.
Samuel Eze, the founder and CEO of the eCommerce startup explained how he came about this: “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,” he told TechCrunch in an interview. “In many cases, she ended up dropping the card and moving on to a different online store. Seeing the same pattern happen 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.”
“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.
In essence, OurPass customers would not need to fill out any form anymore and do not have to deal with re-logging issues. But here’s the thing: they can only shop with merchants that have OurPass API linked to their platforms. And that’s a big ask.
“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.” He told TechCrunch,
It is a wallet based system. Consumers and merchants are assigned virtual account numbers to be used in a wallet. For consumers to check out from a store, they’ll need to fund their wallets, and once they check out, the money moves into the merchants’ wallets. Eze says this helps OurPass capture value end to end and offers instant settlement of payments which, according to him, was not the case with payment gateways.
OurPass has gathered a few merchants on its platform. Most of its clients are small businesses that use Storemia, an online storefront provider OurPass acquired recently. The company also plans to 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.
Since beta launching in May this year, OurPass claims to have done $500,000 in transaction value and hopes continuous growth will see it become the go-to platform for consumer checkout in Nigeria by 2023.