From Kenya’s Daily Nation:
By JEVANS NYABIAGE
Posted Monday, February 22 2010 at 16:46
The internet landscape is changing fast after landing of the undersea fibre optic cables’ broadband gateway, with e-commerce activities now slowly warming up.
In less than two months, Kenya has been introduced to a number of online payment options making e-trade a reality.
On Monday, local IT firm, Intrepid Data Systems Ltd unveiled a real-time online mobile money payments solution.
Selling goods to African customers
Trading as iPay, the service incorporates Safaricom’s mobile cash transfer solution, Mpesa and Zain’s Zap to enable customers buy and sell goods and services across the region via their mobile phones.
It is designed and targeted at online merchants to enable them receive payments through an alternative means other than the traditional modes or credit cards.
Information and Communications ministry PS Dr Bitange Ndemo said; “Kenya is now ripe for e-commerce and that is why we are seeing all these innovations. The challenge will be whether we have enough content.”
Mr Steve Nyumba, Intrepid managing director said, “Our major idea was to package Mpesa and Zap into an online transaction processing that would allow merchants, service providers, not-for-profit organisations and consulting firms to receive real time payments off a secure platform that serves this region and beyond.”
New web-based mobile payments system in Kenya
Last year Agosta Liko, a smart tech businessman who runs Verviant Consulting Services launched PesaPal as a web-based mobile payments system for Kenya. It is similar to iPay.
Prior to the launch of these new innovations, merchants in Kenya who wanted to sell online needed to set-up subsidiary companies outside Kenya where they could then register for merchant bank accounts and payment processing services in other countries such as the UK or US.
This meant that payments would need to be processed via international services before being remitted to Kenya, leading to higher costs and lower margins.