NAIROBI, KENYA, FEB 23 — Global mobile commerce enabler, DOMOCO Digital, has partnered with Safaricom to give customers the option to pay for content on the Google Play Store using M-Pesa.
The integration, which is powered by DOCOMO Digital’s mobile commerce enabling platform using Google Play’s payment API, allows M-Pesa customers to use the mobile money service to pay for goods and services from the app store.
The service is available to more than 27 million M-Pesa customers in Kenya with Android, smartphone or tablet.
Previously, customers could only use credit cards to pay for goods and services on Google, a move that locked out a huge number of potential buyers, as a result of low credit card penetration in Kenya.
The solution seamlessly combines Google Play with the M-Pesa purchase experience that Safaricom customers are used to when paying for goods and services.
It makes Google Play one of the first global e-commerce sites to adapt to mobile money.
“One of our biggest goals is to break down barriers and develop ways in which the 5 billion global adult population can engage with the digital ecosystem. M-Pesa has long been an innovator and leader in the mobile money space, and we are very excited to partner with them to bring this service to market,” DOCOMO Digital CEO Hiroyuki Sato said in a statement.
“First steps like this are absolutely essential on the journey to connecting consumers, merchants, operators and service providers together to create a fair and inclusive ecosystem for everybody.”
The M-Pesa and Google Play Store service will ensure that users are able to buy apps and games in Play Store, using their mobile money wallet.
“Partnerships have been instrumental in deepening the convenience and value of M-Pesa to our customers. Today’s partnership will empower our customers to access Google Play content and further underlines our commitment to providing more choice and convenience to them,” Joseph Ogutu, director of strategy, Safaricom, said.
Mahir Sahin, head of Android partnerships in Africa for Google said: “We are thrilled to partner with Safaricom to bring Google Play carrier billing to Kenya. M-Pesa has successfully demonstrated how important it is to offer financial services to the unbanked and deliver financial inclusion.”
“Carrier billing is very important to the developer ecosystem in markets where credit card penetration is low. With this partnership M-Pesa will play a critical role in the app ecosystem,” Sahin added.