Online retailers can now enable M-Pesa as a payment option which consumers can choose at the checkout stage of purchase. PayGate provides the retailer’s M-Pesa information to the buyer, processes the payment and relays the information to the retailer once the payment has been completed by the buyer.
The new offering sees PayGate address the relatively low adoption of online purchasing across the African continent, which the company insists is attributable to the lack of practical payment methods offered by e-commerce providers.
“There is very little e-commerce activity in many African countries... But that’s not because people don’t want to be able to buy online – they just haven’t been given the right payment options,” says Robin Philip, marketing director of PayGate.
According to Philip, e-commerce will only be widely implemented if the payment options available to consumers reflect locally-preferred methods of payment, as such, payment methods should be varied country by country in order to cater for regional preferences.
“Different countries have their own favourite ways to pay. We don’t believe that should hinder consumers from having access to the services they want online,” explains Philip.
In Kenya and Tanzania, he adds, this means making M-Pesa a viable option, given the widespread use of mobile money in the East Africa region.
“M-Pesa is already a mature product in Kenya and is taking off very fast in Tanzania...With our growing presence in the region, for us it has been a logical step to offer it as an e-commerce payment method. It’s a very appropriate solution for local conditions,” he says.