Local retailers in Francistown have observed that since the launch of the BeSafe contact tracing application in June, majority of their customers still opt to queue for manual registration over the use of app though it has the potential to ease congestion outside stores.
Clint France, the branch manager at Pick n’Pay blue Jacket Street noted that the app had proven to be convenient for the few customers that had used it as they did not need to queue for long periods of time before entering the store.
France further observed that Batswana do not seem interested in using the app which might be due to a lack of education on the application and how to use it.
“The few that use the app seem to be satisfied with it. If majority of Batswana or all could use the application, there would not be any queues outside shops. I believe the government should have put a time frame for all businesses and service providers to migrate from the manual registration for contact tracing to use of the app, ” he added.
He went on to explain that all Pick n’ Pay stores in Francistown have opened up their Wi-Fi networks to accommodate customers who do not have data as well as to encourage the use of the application.
Spar Nswazwi trainee manager Donald Magwegwe shared the same sentiments, adding that Batswana need education on the application because they seem uninterested as they feel registration on the app is time consuming.
Magwegwe further noted that though the application sometimes refuses to scan the QR code due to systematic errors, the app is faster in the contact tracing process though people are slow in downloading the app and understanding how it works.
“We have realized that there are gaps that need to be filled, among them is that some of our clients do not have smart phones, as a store we have resorted to using our own smartphones to help register individuals. at least 30 customers a day so that next time they come can use their identity cards only once registred
He further observed that the BeSafe application needed a lot of marketing and advertising in order for Batswana to learn more about it utilize it adding that as a business they are intending on putting up educational posters to encourage customers to use the application as they had realized that consumers are resistant.
One shopper at Spar Irene Ramokate used the application testified that the app was a good initiative that has saved her a lot of time as she no longer has to queue for long to access services.