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Tech will make social distancing easy – Daily Nation


ALEX KEMEI

By ALEX KEMEI
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Amid the prevailing coronavirus deluge, one, thankfully, still notices the hopeful side of humanity right across the world.

An optimistic message from biomedics here, some consolation from religious leaders there does certainly help to dim the doom Covid-19 spells.

Well, that’s the spirit we should clutch onto at such times as these.

On the whole, the ray of presentiment that pervades the air in the wake of Covid-19 manifests best in the efforts of assorted innovators keen on ensuring life continues.

Contactless transactions will certainly offer a much-needed lifeline while the global community is traversing an unprecedented dark stretch.

Meanwhile, optimists and entrepreneurs are in the forefront devising e-commerce solutions that deliver diverse human needs.

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In a way, Covid-19 has jolted us from our comfort zones and challenged humanity as a whole to find viable, convenient and safer options to satisfy daily needs.

In retrospect, the world of e-commerce has been on a rapid expansion for sometime now.

However, nothing could have accelerated the uptake of e-transactions as has the coronavirus pandemic.

Little wonder that e-payment options that hardly had takers a few months ago are now suddenly in vogue.

From the look of things, the cycle of e-commerce uptake in Kenya will assume a predictable trajectory. Things will get tighter as the ongoing 7pm to 5am curfew persists.

The first port of call will be food. Human beings must eat to survive. Many Kenyans — especially in urban centres — who hitherto hardly entertained the thought of food, foodstuff or groceries being ordered online and delivered to their doorsteps are changing their attitude fast. All major supermarkets have entered the e-deliveries fray with a bang.

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Healthcare is the other crucial frontier. In this regard, Jubilee Insurance has rolled out free virtual consultation via SasaDoctor app over and above offering home delivery of prescription drugs.

Perhaps the biggest sector that e-commerce will transform most dramatically is the settlement of rent dues.

Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Eldoret, Nakuru and indeed and other key urban centres in Kenya are host to tens of thousands of tenants.

In the era of mandatory social distancing and beyond, the payment of rental dues will require not just compassionate landlords, but more crucially easy-to-use e-payment ways.

Before the dragon of Covid-19 is finally slayed, as eateries and entertainment joints remain under lock and key, the window for earning a living will become smaller gradually.

It will, certainly, be more difficult to earn money, let alone save it. However, it would be outright inhuman to kick out tenants at a time when prevailing circumstances do not accord them the opportunity to work.

Therefore, an app that enables tenants to remit the little they earn directly to the landlord in real time will offer a lifeline to both parties. RELIABLE SOLUTION

That, thankfully, also means that the landlord is not at the mercy of cunning real estate agents who may not remit money paid to them by tenants in time or at all.

The element of landlords having cash in safe hands will guarantee the landlord relief during and even after the rough stretch.

The aftermath of coronavirus will leave behind an economy that will need time to recover.

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Who knows, it could take us a whole year or longer to fully bounce back from the socio-economic blow the coronavirus will leave in its wake.

A reliable solution to ease landlord-tenant engagement will obviously come in handy.

One such app is KodiPlus, an innovative new entrant to the real estate market, whose winning streak are the flexi-pay and e-rent options.

Soon it will dawn on many landlords that as the purchasing power of the majority of tenants dependent on daily wages dwindles, house rent will be relegated to a secondary need.

Therefore, any bird in hand on a real time basis will be worth more than a whole flock that is out of reach.

The same app allows house seekers to locate properties that suit their pockets and circumstances without breaking a sweat.

The app saves one the anguish of spending on agents, some of them ruthless extortionists.

The government, and in particular the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), will benefit from such an app because tax dues will be remitted real time.

At a point in time when human movement has been significantly curtailed by the coronavirus pandemic, this mode of engagement is a real boon for the tax collector.





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