By Nina Mulamba
OLX is launching a new platform which has a report button to make its platform safer and user-friendly by allowing users to flag suspicious listings or accounts every time they notice them on the platform. The online and classifieds firm OLX Kenya is set to educate the public on genuine buyers and sellers and also advising them on what to look out for. This comes after several clients made complaints about some online sellers turning out to be fraudsters.
“Our product works best because we do not get involved in the transaction process. Ours is just a platform. We however control the content by moderating the advertisements that are posted. This means we check its credibility and if we receive any complaint about a user, we then block him from the site. These are however, not unique challenges,” said OLX country manager, Peter Ndiangui.
Some of the things consumers are warned against include sellers who ask buyers for money before they see the product and those who insist on meeting in areas that may be deemed as suspicious or private.
“For instance if a buyer requests for money before viewing an item then the buyer can use the Report button to report a suspicious seller”, said Ndiang’ui and further added that, “The safety tips in the site will always remind users to transact safely. This, we believe, will go a long way in ensuring OLX users are safe and informed on our platform”.
Apart from the report button, the firm is also revamping its verification process to add both SMS and email verification in a move to actually identify and verify the sellers on the platform and their inventory. The firm also aims to watermark all photos to make sure they can’t be re-used by anyone else claiming to sell a similar product.
OLX Kenya said that they had recently launched a new phone application that allows people in areas with slow internet connectivity to use the OLX platform. The application enables pending advertisements to be uploaded on the site automatically, as soon as the user is in an area with good internet connection. The application also ensures that less data is used to upload and download material on the site.
To avoid fraud, the firm is also set to launch an in-app Chat to allow buyers to interact with sellers via instant chat messaging and direct chat with other users who are logged in online or use SMS for those who are offline. The firm expects this new feature to make the platform safer and user-friendly.
This safety measures are only available on OLX’s new app and the firm is asking all its users to delete their current app and download the new version which is already live in Tanzania, Uganda and Ghana.