We have talked at length about C-Trade. From a how-to on the sign-up process, why their platform is a great thing, and how to buy the shares once you’ve signed up. Since their launch in July however, the reception has been mixed. Though they have quickly grown and have amassed about 7000 new traders there have also been some concerns voiced by users. We managed to sit down with C-Trade and get to understand why their platform works the way it does…
“…I made a buy order in July a week after the platform was launched but then today 16 September my order still is still not processed.”
After our sit down with C-Trade, we quickly realised that many mistake orders for completed purchases. This is inaccurate and what actually happens is that after making an order there must be someone willing to actually sell those shares on the other end. If there are no willing sellers then that order does not match and thus you have not bought shares. You actually have to cancel that order to get your money back.
Also important to note is that even if you make purchase order using EcoCash if you cancel that order your money is sent to your bank account and not the EcoCash itself.
“Why does the minimum order limit only apply on mobile?”
When we tested out C-Trade on mobile, we quickly realised a discrepancy. On mobile there was a minimum transaction of $10 whilst on the web portal, you could trade below a dollar. This was a strange limitation to have especially when one considers that this is the same platform. Anyway, the minimum of $10 is now spread across all platforms. So whether you’re accessing C-Trade on Web, Mobile or via the USSD option there is a defined minimum.
“My OTP only comes via email, why don’t I get a text?”
Well, the C-Trade representative we spoke to made it clear that the option to send OTP’s via text were considered but enabling that would require an extra cost that would end up being passed to the customer. I kind of understand this argument because when it comes to investment you are generally dealing with low figures so charging customers for the texts would be slightly irritating.
Inversely you can also argue against this decision and say it feels like an excuse as bulk SMS are much cheaper and would be a good option to have. This would especially make sense for the people using C-Trade via USSD. The assumption is that if you are using C-Trade via USSD you don’t have access to the internet or at least frequent access. So why that same person would then have to get confirmations via email is a bit baffling.
Anyway, C-Trade made it clear that they are working on that and they are looking to make SMSs optional. This will definitely be a welcome addition.
“Why can’t I open an account using EcoCash only. The bank field is required”
Financial inclusion is the word making the rounds and many were disappointed when they realised that, though they can buy orders using EcoCash once signed up, they couldn’t sign up using EcoCash exclusively. To sign up you NEED to have a bank account. After sitting down with C-Trade they made it clear to us that this was more of a regulatory issue. EcoCash, though convenient, doesn’t have the strictest KYC (know your customer) procedures. They certainly aren’t comparable to what is offered by the banks and because of this, they don’t comply with the SEC’s regulations. It’s a reasonable explanation and being that’s a regulatory issue one does understand how C-Trade can’t be faulted for this.
For SEC and ZSE who are constantly calling for more investors and creating an investor culture, it’s clear they need to find a way to involve people who are not banked in the investment pool.