Facebook-sponsored TechCrunch Startup Battlefield is one of the key events that are gracing Nairobi for the better part of the week. Specifically, the event kicked off yesterday, and is packed to the brim with several events such as the Facebook Developer Circle Africa Masterclass, a Women in Tech event, Facebook Community Event; SMB, Agency and Content Creators Workshop, as well as Facebook Platform Meetup and the primary event, which is the TechCrunch Startup Battlefield Africa 2017 that will begin tomorrow. More details can be read here and here.
In particular, the platform meetup is a discussion among developers, entrepreneurs and senior leaders in mid-stage startups regarding the use of Facebooks platform products in building and enhancing their businesses. Based on this platform, Facebook has revealed that it is in talks with mobile payment service providers in Kenya to launch local billing on its site. This development will go in line with similar announcements that have been made by the social media giant in South Africa and Nigeria.
Some of the mobile money platforms that will be part of this milestone include M-PESA and Airtel Money. On the bright side things, advertisers will also use other existing channels, which is a good thing owing to a substantial amount of competing products that can take advantage of this stride, including EazzyPay and the yet-to-be-announced mobile money solution by Telkom Kenya, among many others.
According to Facebook’s Regional Director Nunu Nshitsingila, there is no technological issue that is slowing this release. However, there are a couple of regulations that must be adhered to, and this has been a challenge to them.
Similar to Google and other internet corporations, Facebook is leveraging its numbers to push advertisements as a one of their money-minting machines. At the moment, it has more than 2 billion users, which is almost a quarter of the world population. It makes sense why the platform wants to streamline and tailor its approach to this business niche in a country that has slotted a spot in the global map for steering mobile money services.