Amazon has launched service that allows its Kenyan customers pay for purchases at local Western Union agents. Customer’s identity will be verified through a unique QR code and matched to the order confirmation.
The service, called Amazon PayCode, caters to e-savvy Kenyan consumers who lack access to international credit cards or prefer to buy goods in cash and in their own currency. The service was also launched in nine other countries in Asia and Latin America.
Kenya has seen increased smartphone and e-commerce adoption in recent years. Mobile money platforms like M-Pesa have enabled shoppers mobile phone accessibility to pay for goods. Amazon seeks to expand its reach in developing markets, competing with the likes of Alibaba, and the Amazon PayCode service signals its intent.
Amazon currently delivers to 10 African nations; they are yet to replicate their success in US markets across the world.
Global tech giants have begun to look to Africa to increase their presence and revenue. Google last year integrated Kenya’s M-Pesa mobile money service as a form of payment in its store. Alibaba recently launched deals with the Rwandan government to boost e-commerce, trade, and tourism.
The Amazon and Western Union collaboration exhibits multinationals focus on getting more customers to do digital transactions. In 2018, Safaricom rolled out services that allow their customers do transactions locally and internationally through deals with Western Union and PayPal
Amazon and Western Union’s collaboration also showcases the increasing focus from multinationals and fintech companies to boost financial inclusion and get more customers to do digital transactions. Last year, Kenya’s leading mobile network operator Safaricom signed deals with both Western Union and PayPal to allow its customers to shop and transfer money both at home and abroad using their e-wallets.
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