This is after Western Union, a cross-border currency movement company, and US tech giant Amazon entered into a partnership that will see Kenyans able to use local currency to pay for products sold on the e-commerce platform.
“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.
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.
“Amazon is committed to enabling customers shop on our platform, and a big part of that is to allow customers to pay for their cross-border online purchases in a way that is most convenient for them,” said Mani Sundaram, Amazon’s Emerging Payments General Manager.
The two companies said they intend to avail more convenience and choice in a world where cross-border buyers and sellers are often located on different continents and in completely different financial ecosystems.
Similar partnerships are already working in nine other countries across the globe including in Chile, Colombia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Peru, Philippines, Taiwan and Thailand.
The e-commerce firm, owned by billionaire Jeff Bezos, recently launched a cross-border payment option dubbed ‘PayCode’ that processes complex foreign exchange, settlement and money movement requirements for international transactions.
After selecting PayCode on Amazon.com checkout page, online shoppers are sent a code with instructions on how to pay in person at a Western Union agent.
The move is expected to provide greater access to online goods for customers who were previously excluded from e-commerce due to lack of accepted payment methods.