Online shoppers in Kenya can now use M-Pesa to pay for goods sourced through global e-commerce marketplace AliExpress. This follows a partnership established between Safaricom and the global e-commerce marketplace.
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, according to the telco.
The service is live on the AliExpress app and will be available on AliExpress.com in coming weeks.
Safaricom said many local micro-traders source goods from markets including China and Malaysia, and the payment alliance with AliExpress will enhance trade between the East African country and Asia.
Sylvia Mulinge, chief customer officer at Safaricom, said, "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 manufacturer."
"We believe that the mobile phone has the ability to pull down some barriers to trade by enabling global e-commerce, and 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."
In its most recent quarter sector report (July to September 2018) the Communication Authority of Kenya (CA) stated the number of mobile commerce transactions was recorded at 526.9 million (valued at KSh.1.5 trillion).
According to the B2C E-Commerce Index 2018 Focus on Africa report from United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), released in December 2018, Kenya was ranked 7th in Africa in terms of e-commerce readiness. Mauritius was ranked number one for the continent.
UNCTAD said apart from internet penetration growth, in order for e-commerce to thrive in Africa, there needs to be more users who trust the online market to make purchases.