Nairobi — MILLIONS of M-PESA customers in Kenya can now pay for content on the Google Play Store following a partnership between Safaricom and DOCOMO Digital.
The service is available to more than 27 million M-PESA customers with an Android smartphone or tablet.
Hiroyuki Sato, Chief Executive Officer of DOCOMO Digital, says one of their biggest goals is to break down barriers and develop ways in which the 5 billion global adult population can engage with the digital ecosystem.
Nato notes that M-PESA has long been an innovator and leader in the mobile money space, hence they are very excited to partner with them to bring this service to market.
"First steps like this are absolutely essential on the journey to connecting consumers, merchants, operators and service providers together to create a fair and inclusive ecosystem for everybody," Sato says.
The M-PESA and Google Play Store service will ensure that users are able to buy apps and games in Play Store, using their mobile money wallet.
Joseph Ogutu, Director of Strategy at Safaricom, says such partnerships have been instrumental in deepening the convenience and value of M-PESA to customers.
"Today's (Thursday's) partnership will empower our customers to access Google Play content and further underlines our commitment to providing more choice and convenience to them," Ogutu says. M-PESA has successfully demonstrated how important it is to offer financial services to the unbanked and deliver financial inclusion.
This is according to Mahir Sahin, Head of Africa, Android Partnerships at Google.
He adds that carrier billing is important to the developer ecosystem in markets where credit card penetration is low.
"With this partnership M-PESA will play a critical role in the app ecosystem," Sahin says.