Safaricom (NSE: SCOM) has secured a deal for merchants that will see them pay for goods they buy in China through M-PESA, increasing their payment options. The partnership with AliExpress which is owned by giant online retailer Alibaba targets micro-traders in the country who source for goods and other supplies from manufacturers in China.
Sylvia Mulinge – Chief Customer Officer, Safaricom said the 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 manufacturer.
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.
Customers will continue to receive their merchandise through postal services as it has been the case.
The number of transactions on Lipa Na M-PESA has continued to grow, with data from the Central Bank of Kenya showing 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 believe that the mobile phone has the ability to pull down some barriers to trade by enabling global e-commerce. It also marks an 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,” added Sylvia.