Kenya’s largest telecommunications company Safaricom PLC is in talks with American multinational technology giant Amazon to integrate M-PESA, in a move meant to ultimately make it easier for Kenyan consumers to shop on Amazon.com.
Through the arrangement, Amazon will accept M-PESA online payments while making the M-PESA one of the checkout options for those customers from Kenya who use Amazon.com to shop.
In a podcast with The Kenyan Wall Street following the release of the financial results, Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa said this is part of the telco’s new strategy that aims to transform Safaricom into a purpose-driven technology-led organization as they look beyond payments and credit to generate more revenue. The CEO also mentioned that other tech giants that Safaricom is looking to partner with include Google and Facebook.
Commenting on the partnership, Sylvia Mulinge, Safaricom’s Chief Customer Officer, said that the partnership with Amazon will expand into the content side as well and more information would be shared once finalized.
Safaricom and Amazon Web Services Partnership
In February 2020, Safaricom entered into a strategic agreement to become a reseller of Amazon Web Services (AWS).
The telco noted at the time that the agreement is designed to accelerate its ‘internal IT transformation, lower costs and provide it with a blueprint and skilled resources to assist customers with their journey to the cloud.’
The US E-Commerce giant Amazon announced plans to establish a new edge location in Nairobi in November 2019. The addition was Amazon’s third location in Africa in addition to the other two in South African cities Johannesburg and Cape Town.
In March 2019, Safaricom and Ant Financial Services announced a partnership to allow Kenyans shopping on AliExpress to pay for their purchases using M-PESA. The partnership targeted Kenyan traders who source goods from manufacturers in China.