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Safaricom to launch e-commerce platform

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Safaricom will soon launch e-commerce platform, Masoko.

Safaricom’s soon to launch e-commerce platform, “Masoko” will go live in October 2017. Masoko will compete directly with established e-commerce platforms like Jumia and Kilimall, but the company says the platform is primarily aimed at small businesses.

Speaking about the recently released M-Pesa Application Programming Interface (API), the company says these will work in four days, unlike the old one, which took 60 days for applications to be integrated with M-Pesa. The API will allow vendors to develop payment solutions that will make transactions faster and efficient.

The Kenyan e-commerce platform will offer products ranging from electronics to beverages and cosmetics, and provide a tool for people currently buying and selling goods on social-media platforms such as Facebook

“The difference between us and some other players in the market is that we also want to work with tried and tested brands and merchants. Even if they are small merchants, we want to work with them to ensure they have quality products,” said Chief Executive Bob Collymore, adding that these merchants are both from Kenya and outside the country.

According to the company, Masoko will work with manufacturers and farmers looking for direct market access and reduce supply-chain inefficiencies including transportation costs and poor infrastructure.

M-Pesa will be among a number of payment methods including other online wallet services and cards by Visa Inc. and Mastercard Inc, said the company. Safaricom plans to roll out Masoko in Kenya, and later expand the platform beyond Kenya, the company did not specify what other markets the company is considering.

M-Pesa already enables almost 30 million people (mostly in Kenya) to pay for everyday goods and services, access loans, and send money all over the world. With the new platform, Safaricom aims to ensure that all merchants sell quality products and services.

Edited by Fundisiwe Maseko
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