Kenyans will now be able to pay for their purchases on e-commerce platform Amazon through Western Union. The new service aims to give access to online goods for customers who have largely been excluded from e-commerce shopping due to lack of accepted payment methods such as debit and credit cards.
The new service is part of a new initiative called Amazon PayCode which is aimed at introducing easier payment options for overseas clients of the US e-commerce giant. The new service is currently being offered in Kenya and 9 other countries in Asia and South America. The other countries are Chile, Colombia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Peru, Philippines, Taiwan and Thailand.
To use the new payment service, customers should select PayCode on the Amazon.com checkout page. They will then be sent a code, along with instructions on how to pay in person at a participating Western Union agent location.
“We’re helping to unlock access to Amazon.com for customers who need and want items that can only be found online in many parts of the world,” said Khalid Fellahi, SVP and General Manager of Western Union Digital.
According to Ben Volk, Director, Payment Acceptance and Experience at Amazon “Amazon PayCode leverages the reach of Western Union to make cross-border online shopping a reliable and convenient experience for customers who do not have access to international credit cards, or prefer to pay in cash.”
Western Union offers cross-border money transfer services in over 200 countries with over 500,000 agents. The company has a large footprint in Kenya and has partnered with institutions such as Equity Bank, NIC Bank, KCB Group, Co-Op Bank and DTB Bank. They have also partnered with Safaricom to allow M-Pesa customers to send money for pick up at Western Union agent locations and directly into bank accounts in selected countries.