Nigerian e-commerce marketplace, Slash.ng, has launched an online escrow marketplace where buyers and sellers can connect to complete and secure transactions.
The app allows buyers place orders for products or services advertised by merchants after which they make payments through a “Slash Account.” The fund will be held by SLASH until the product/service is delivered.
The company’s product enables buyers to transact directly with verified sellers regardless of their location; two parties can define the transaction’s terms and conditions without any intermediary.
Slash.ng was founded by Hakeem Abogunde, a software engineer with extensive marketing and business development skills. His passion for e-commerce led him to develop long-term solutions to the major challenges confronting e-commerce in Nigeria and Africa.
Speaking on the company’s product goal, Abogunde said: “Despite the surge in internet penetration in Nigeria and Africa, more than 98 percent of Nigerians lack trust in e-commerce, with barely 1% of Nigerians routinely patronizing e-commerce. We want to establish a system that everyone can trust. With the integrated delivery system, users will be able to follow their transaction from the point of sale until delivery.”
In 2019, Hakeem established Zcnox, an escrow marketplace that accepted cryptocurrency payments, but he did not continue with the venture due to crypto currency’s low level of adoption in Nigeria and its volatile nature, making it unsafe to use as a method of payment for goods and services.
Two years later, he developed a beta version of the SLASH app for the Abuja market with a limited number of categories which was well received by the majority of sellers. SLASH currently has over 1,000 verified sellers and processes over N10,000,000 in transactions.
The app is open to all Nigerians, with additional categories such as freelancing, autos & cars, and services, self-employed entrepreneurs, family enterprises, manufacturers, online retailers, suppliers and drop shippers, among others.
Commenting on the plan for year 2022, Hakeem said: “This is our first public announcement since product introduction, We are aware that the escrow concept is relatively new in Nigeria. We’ve been educating sellers about the benefits of utilizing escrow to facilitate their online transactions. We look forward to collaborating with more businesses and individuals. We want everyone to take part. With escrow payment, we can develop a viable e-commerce system similar to Alibaba in Africa.”