In a development that makes my heart immensely glad,  Safaricom and Ant Financial Services have announced a partnership that will allow Kenyans shopping on AliExpress to pay for their purchases using M-PESA. I’m always looking at things on AliExpress and when I’m not feeling too lazy to do the whole card thing, I actually purchase quite a number of them. If I were to arrange the apps apps on my phone starting from the most used, AliExpress will certainly be up there fighting it out with Instagram, Taxi Hailing apps, and CastBox.

The move targets micro-traders in the country who source for goods and other supplies from manufacturers in China, and signifies Safaricom’s continued push to position M-PESA as a truly global mobile money transfer and payments platform.

With the new partnership, Kenyans shopping on Aliexpress.com will be presented with M-PESA as one of the payment options when checking out their shopping cart on the app or website. Once customers select M-PESA, they will then key in their mobile phone numbers and will subsequently receive a prompt on their phones to type their M-PESA PIN to complete the payment. How easy can things be? Best time to be alive!

AliExpress customers selecting M-PESA as a payment channel will have their total cost displayed in Kenya Shillings with standard Lipa Na M-PESA Paybill charges applicable for each transaction. As has been the case, shoppers will also have the option of using their post office box numbers as the delivery location for their items.

“Our more than 21 million customers can now enjoy the safety, reliability and convenience of M-PESA when shopping on AliExpress, a leading, global e-commerce marketplace. This partnership seeks to connect Kenyans to even more business opportunities by enabling them to seamlessly source, purchase and import goods from the world’s leading manufacturer,” said Sylvia Mulinge – Chief Customer Officer, Safaricom.

The service is already live on the AliExpress app and will be available on AliExpress.com in coming weeks.

The number of transactions on Lipa Na M-PESA has continued to grow, with data from the Central Bank of Kenya showing that the mobile phone is the most preferred mode of cashless payments in the country, accounting for more than eight of every ten such payments in December 2018.

“We are keen on leveraging the power of mobile technology to transform lives, and we see a great opportunity to do this by connecting people to people, to knowledge and to opportunities. We believe that the mobile phone has the ability to pull down some barriers to trade by enabling global e-commerce, and this partnership with Ant Financial Services marks yet another important milestone not just in Safaricom’s efforts to take M-PESA beyond Kenya, but to Kenya’s participation in the international e-commerce marketplace,” added Sylvia.

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