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PayPal, Safaricom Team Up For Kenyan Cross-Border Mobile Payments Arrangement

April 11, 2018         By: Steven Anderson

Mobile payments are increasingly a big deal in Africa; they often don’t require a whole lot in the way of infrastructure to launch, and in some cases can even work without it. So we’ve seen plenty of development in this sector, and we’ll likely see more to follow. A new collaborative move between Safaricom and PayPal, meanwhile, is looking to drive a little more mobile payments advance in Africa.

With Safaricom and PayPal’s new “collaboration,” as it’s being called, M-PESA and PayPal accounts are now much more closely interoperable, giving users the ability to transfer money more rapidly across borders. For those not familiar with African geography, there are quite a few of those borders on the continent, so the new move should help to speed up the flow of cash and give businesses more stable platforms on which to operate.

The move required some new technology to operate, and so, PayPal and Safaricom turned to TransferTo to be the technology partner of the venture. Now, Kenya’s M-PESA user base will be able to take advantage of PayPal’s global network and move product and services throughout the world.

Safaricom’s director of strategy Joseph Ogutu noted “M-PESA’s cooperation with PayPal will open up global marketplaces and the global economy to millions of Kenyan and Kenyan-based businesses and individuals. This development ushers in a new era of speed and convenience beyond borders, as we work towards innovating robust platforms through which more entrepreneurs and consumers can benefit from international money transfers and the growing ecommerce industry.”

Once again, PayPal has proven its resilience; though the upcoming eBay loss is still a while off, PayPal looks to be doing everything in its power to branch out and head off the upcoming loss. The downside to all this is that all this work will likely only keep revenues ultimately flat, but consider that it was a choice between flat revenues and revenues that look distinctly like a crater, PayPal’s likely making the right call.

Opening up its networks to worldwide operations—particularly in developing nations—will likely only be rewarded with new, loyal users who are used to PayPal and won’t readily jump ship for anything short of a much better value. That’s just the kind of crowd PayPal needs right now.