KAMPALA – One of the rarest commodities in the world of digital business is called trust. Everyone is afraid of another either because of past experiences with fraud or stories regarding the same.
When it comes to the car business, the odds of getting exactly what you ordered online are very minimal, especially in Africa. It is very possible for someone in Uganda to order a 2022 Mercedez Benz from a car dealer in Asia and receive a 2017 make with even different specifications!
So, it is such fears that Autochek – an African one-stop-shop for car buyers, sellers, and service providers was formed to eliminate.
“We live by the principle of you get what you see on the website,” says Victor Magaki, the East African Regional HR manager at Autochek Africa.
Magaki says that the idea of owning a genuine car should not be very complicated. The Autochek website, therefore, allows sellers and buyers to meet, negotiate and pay the right amount for the right commodity.
“To eliminate people’s fears, we follow proper procedures to ensure that every stakeholder is in sync. For instance, when a dealer posts a car on our website, we first send a group of professionals to inspect it to ensure that it has the specifications as mentioned,” he says.
Started in the September of 2020 in Nigeria and Ghana, Autochek has had exponential growth to establish branches in Uganda, Kenya, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Morocco, Central African Republic, etc.
“Recently, we acquired Auto Tiger in Egypt and Autochek Financial Services in South Africa. All this acquisition is in less than three years of penetrating major automotive markets in Africa to nine countries,” he says.
In Uganda alone, Magaki says they work with more than 2,000 cars dealers, which creates variety for their clients. Someone who wants a car just needs to visit our portal, pick a car of their choice and they are connected to the dealer.
Magaki adds that one of the most attractive components of Autochek is the car financing service where people are allowed to apply for cars of their choice and pay for them in installments.
“We partner with microfinance institutions. We have also been whitelisted with Stanbic Bank so that we can do the loans and everything,” he says.
“We are building the Fintech experience and in Africa, you always know that it is built on trust. Like other marketplace platforms, we are trying. I don’t want to mention places but there are other places where you see your car being sold and you wonder how it happened.”
According to Bilal Saeed, the Sales Manager, YUASA – a marketplace, commonly referred to as bond for new cars, since they started using the Autochek Uganda platform about two years ago, the service has been fast, efficient, and reliable.
“They not only finance the cars, but also make sure that they keep the car in a good state. If you compare the market dynamics, different institutions are providing similar facilities. There are banks and other financiers but Autochek beats them. They are more organized, you can do online inquiries, and fill up online forms, and don’t need to go to their offices. They are instant and fast,” he says.
“Autochek makes sure that any car they buy from us is properly serviced and checked before they take the car on the road. They look at the car physically and mechanically,” he adds, noting that they have so far sold more than 60 cars through Autochek.
Saeed thus urges Autochek to develop a mobile application with simpler know-your-customer requirements which will definitely attract more people to their platform.
Autochek is the 28th participant in Season Four of 40 Days 40 FinTechs organized by HiPipo to shine a light on unique innovations changing the lives of people at the bottom of the pyramid in the East African region.
The 40 days 40 FinTechs organizers deserve a round of applause and appreciation because this is big and very educative. We have an opportunity to learn about activities of 40 FinTechs in 40 Days,” Mageto says.
HiPipo’s 40 Days 40 FinTechs initiative has become a household name in the financial technology space of the East African region. In the last three editions, more than 100 FinTechs have been showcased, highlighting stories changing people’s lives, especially in the under-served sectors.
The initiative is organised in partnership with the Level One Project, Mojaloop Foundation, INFITX, Ideation Corner, Cyberplc Academy, and Crosslake Technologies with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.