Admittedly, not many are big fans of paying for services and apps from the Google Play Store. Even for the few willing, the idea of providing credit card information has deterred them from doing so.
To everyone’s surprise, Google has quietly enabled M-Pesa X-press payments on the Google Play Store. Safaricom has partnered with mobile commerce enabler, DOCOMO. This is to enable customers to buy content on the Google Play Store using M-PESA. The integration is powered by DOCOMO’s digital mobile commerce enabling platform using Google Play’s payment Application Programming Interface. This means that the users can now purchase apps on the store and get charged directly to their M-Pesa.
Joseph Ogutu, Director of Strategy at Safaricom limited, said: “Partnerships have been instrumental in deepening the convenience and value of M-PESA to our customers. Today’s partnership will empower our customers to access Google Play content and further underlines our commitment to providing more choice and convenience to them.”
Hiroyuki Sato, CEO of DOCOMO Digital, said its biggest goal is to break down barriers and develop ways in which the 5 billion global adult populations can engage with the digital ecosystem. He said “M-PESA has long been an innovator and leader in the mobile money space, and we 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.”
Mahir Sahin, head of Africa Android Partnerships said M-Pesa has successfully demonstrated how important it is to offer financial services to the unbanked and deliver financial inclusion.
This service is available to more than 27 million M-PESA customers in Kenya with Android Smartphone or tablet and it’s limited to Safaricom subscribers.