AliExpress has joined the fray jostling Amazon to make online shopping payments easier for Kenyans.
This is after Safaricom and Ant Financial Services announced a partnership that will allow Kenyans shopping on AliExpress to pay for their purchases using M-Pesa.
The move especially targets micro-traders in the country who source for goods and other supplies from manufacturers in China.
The partnership with the world’s largest fintech services provider signifies Safaricom’s continued push to position M-Pesa as a truly global mobile money transfer and payments platform.
“Our more than 21 million customers can now enjoy the safety, reliability and convenience of M-Pesa when shopping on AliExpress. This partnership seeks to connect Kenyans to even more business opportunities by enabling them to seamlessly source, purchase and import goods from the world’s leading manufacturers,” said Sylvia Mulinge – Chief Customer Officer, Safaricom.
M-Pesa option for Kenyans shopping on Aliexpress.com
Kenyans shopping on Aliexpress.com will be presented with M-Pesa as one of the payment options when checking out their shopping cart on the app or website.
Once customers select M-Pesa, they will then key in their mobile phone numbers and will subsequently receive a prompt on their phones to type their M-Pesa PIN to complete the payment.
AliExpress customers selecting M-Pesa as a payment channel will have their total cost displayed in Kenya Shillings with standard Lipa Na M-PESA Paybill charges applicable for each transaction.
As has been the case, shoppers will also have the option of using their post office box numbers as the delivery location for their items.
The service is already live on the AliExpress app and will be available on AliExpress.com in coming weeks.
Mobile money to keep Africa’s banking afloat
Data from the Central Bank of Kenya shows that the mobile phone is the most preferred mode of cashless payments in the country accounting for more than eight of every ten such payments in December 2018.
“We are keen on leveraging the power of mobile technology to transform lives, and we see a great opportunity to do this by connecting people to people, to knowledge and to opportunities,” said Mulinge.
Markets in the continent are fast growing and nearly twice as profitable as the global average with still much room to grow, according to the McKinsey report.
Mulinge said that the mobile phone has the ability to pull down some barriers to trade by enabling global e-commerce.
“This partnership with Ant Financial Services marks yet another important milestone not just in Safaricom’s efforts to take M-PESA beyond Kenya, but to Kenya’s participation in the international e-commerce marketplace.”
Amazon shoppers in Kenya to pay in local currency
During the partnership announcement, the company said the service was to enable customers who prefer to pay in cash to shop conveniently at Amazon.
The Western Union platform is powering Amazon’s new cross-border payment option, called Amazon PayCode, by processing the complex foreign exchange, settlement and money movement requirements for international e-commerce transactions.
After selecting PayCode on the Amazon checkout page, customers will be sent a code, along with instructions on how to pay in person at a participating Western Union® agent location.
The move by Western Union and Amazon will provide greater access to online goods for customers who have largely been excluded from e-commerce shopping due to lack of accepted payment methods.
You can also read how mobile money is making Africa ‘bankable’ and how Africa’s 122 million mobile banking accounts can fund agriculture as Kenyans transact almost Sh2 Trillion every 3 months on mobile phones and about Africa’s biggest online shopping countries.