The very popular E-commerce giant ,Amazon has rolled out a service dubbed PayCode which allows customers to purchase goods and make payments at a local Western Union retail agent. This cross-border payment option has been launched in Kenya and 9 other countries in Asia and Latin America.
PayCode is a payment option for e-savvy consumers in Kenya that might not have access to international credit cards or may prefer to buy goods in their local currency. A report from Forrester Datashows that cross-border shopping sales will represent 20% of e-commerce by 2022, with sales reaching $630 billion, boosted by increasingly sophisticated customers in markets including Africa and the Middle East.
Global tech giants are now deepening their presence and increasing revenue in Africa. Last year, Google integrated Kenya’s top mobile money transfer service M-Pesa, for transactions in its store. Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba also recently launched deals with the Rwandan government to boost e-commerce, trade and tourism.
Furthermore Amazon and Western Union’s collaboration 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.
Kenya is one of the countries in Africa that is undergoing a mobile commerce revolution which has increased smartphone adoption. This enables shoppers to pay for goods and services online through mobile money platforms like M-Pesa.
Amazon is gradually expanding its footprint in developing markets in Africa, and also it currently delivers to only 10 African nations as part of its global shipments operations, with an e-commerce subsidiary Souq operating in the northeastern corner of Africa, Egypt.