By now, most of us have been apprised of the plan between American e-commerce giant Amazon and Kenya’s leading telco Safaricom to strike a partnership that will see customers make payments via M-PESA while purchasing products from the platform.
The announcement was made by Safaricom’s CEO Peter Ndegwa during the official release of the company’s 2021 FY results.
The development is part’s of Safaricom’s plan to boost its M-PESA earnings following revenue drops during the 2021 FY.
M-PESA has been an integral earner for the carrier over the years, and has always defied barriers to net the company billions of shillings every other quarter and year.
Specifically, the telco’s M-PESA earnings dropped by 2.1 percent YoY to KES 82.647 billion, a first for the company. Despite the drop, the mobile money product was the leading moneymaker for the corporation after it overtook voice services. On the whole, M-PESA constitutes a third of Safaricom’s revenues.
About two years ago, Safaricom struck a deal with China’s Alibaba (AliExpress) that saw customer pay for products via M-PESA that is integrated on the ecommerce’s mobile app.
Earlier than the AliExpress deal, Safaricom partnered with America’s PayPal, a development that allowed customers to move their cash from their PayPal to M-PESA wallets.
The partnerships, among many others, are here in a bid to expand the use of M-PESA.
It should also be noted that this is not that Amazon and Safaricom are working together. Previously, Amazon provided web services to the carrier. Safaricom signed a strategic agreement with Amazon Web Services, which allowed the operator to resell AWS services.
The partnership will, unfortunately, solve one problem with shopping on Amazon, which is payments. However, the majority of Kenyans who use the eCommerce platform know their way around payments other than using M-PESA.
The issue has always been about shipping because for the moment, Kenyans are at the mercy of third-party importers whose services are priced higher than what shoppers would be willing to pay for.