On Tuesday, Kenya's telecom giant Safaricom said it has partnered with Ant Financial, a fintech company and an affiliate of Alibaba, China’s largest e-commerce company to allow Kenyans to pay for their purchases using M-Pesa.
“The move especially targets micro traders in the country who source for goods and other supplies from manufacturers in China,” Ms Sylvia Mulinge, Safaricom's chief customer officer said in a statement.
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.
"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,” said Ms Sylvia Mulinge, the chief customer officer.
The move comes just weeks after Western Union and US tech giant Amazon announced they had entered into a partnership that will see Kenyans able to use local currency to pay for products sold on the e-commerce platform.
The deal is aimed at widening Amazon’s customer base in the country by bringing on board clients who were locked out by hitches on the payment platform, which do not allow transactions in local currencies.
“We’re helping to unlock access to Amazon.com for customers who need and want items that can only be found online,” said Khalid Fellahi, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Western Union Digital.