Depending on the part of the world you’re from, contributing for a cause you care about through an online community may or may not feel like a bad idea. If you’re in the developed world, using platforms like Kickstarter and Gofundme may be what you’ve grown to appreciate. People harnessing the power of the internet to find ways to collaborate not just in terms of solidarity but actually pooling funds together to make something happen would be something you’re familiar with.
In the developing world, the idea of engaging in online transactions is still catching on let alone making donations through a platform that caters to crowdfunding in Nigeria as a country for example. There are a few reasons responsible for this and we’ll be addressing them as well as the level of progress made in converting skeptical low income earners in these nations to adopt the online crowdfunding model as a way to raise funds.
The Issue of trust
This is the underlying issue why ecommerce hasn’t taken off in most developing countries like the ones in Africa where this is being written from. The issue of trust takes up many forms. For crowdfunding, it could be that someone posting about a cause isn’t doing it because of care or interest. Sometimes, it’s just a plot to swindle others.
Another trust gap reason is the lack of familiarity many third world countries have with the online world. While it is true that there are so many people in the third world that live and enjoy top level amenities as compared to people in developed nations, it is also true that a large portion of people are just getting introduced to smartphones and online activities. To this group of people, the idea of sending money online is very much new. Based on human nature, it takes us time to get used to something and accept it as the norm even after we’ve tried it.
Payment Processing Issues
This is another giant issue. Some may even tie it to the trust issue. While a few crowdfunding platforms are beginning to spring up, the problem of visitors not being able to successfully complete a transaction still arises. This is an infrastructure problem that is usually due to lack of talent to build solid payment processing platforms or bad server side management that isn’t in any way close to being 100% fail proof.
Combating the Tradition
People in developing nations have come to see the exchange of physical cash for any form of value as the only way to make a transaction. This process has been so ingrained in the lifestyle of the people that it is now some sort of tradition. Asides letting the masses in these countries know that it can be safe to make online transactions, having desensitization programmes for the young people in these countries will go a long way in transitioning them to online crowdfunding.a
Progress so Far
It’s not all doom and gloom for the crowdfunding space in developing countries has some courageous group have taken up the responsibility of ensuring that the teach side of receiving payments in general is strong and reliable. One of such is paystack.
For soliciting funds or giving donations, Quickraiz is a fast rising and dependable platform that many people would be surprised at how they’ve been able to leapfrog into having functionalities that those invested in the crowdfunding space in developing nations have been clamoring for.
It is safe to say that even though not so many people are open to the crowdfunding space in developing countries, the efforts of the not just new but well done crowdfunding platforms will pay off one day.