Some very many months ago, Safaricom announced that a brand new Safaricom App Store will be up in a few months. In the same breath, came in the promise to open up the M-Pesa API to enable developers interact with Mpesa in monetization of their online commodities. Well, at-least going by a URL I landed on a few days ago, we have the App Store ready. Safaricom placed a web banner on the Safaricom mobile site that hosts music and other downloads for purchase.
Currently the apps listed are all free and there is a wide array of them for many devices and platforms. Except Windows phone devices with which Safaricom has a separate engagement with Microsoft to feature a Safaricom specific section in the apps page. Currently that has recommended apps for a new user from existing apps in the Microsoft Store.
We have no idea how Safaricom intends to get developer apps onto the store, whether its apps submissions or they will have a publisher account for the same. At the moment, the main wap site safaricom.com/wap has paid downloads that are airtime billed while all apps on the app store are free. Maybe Safaricom intends to keep it that way, but we don’t seem to have long before we find out.