Safaricom is looking to leverage the integration of social media and mobile money with e-commerce to increase its market share.
The telco recently launched its own e-commerce platform, Masoko, which also features the M-Pesa mobile money service as the main payment method.
Safaricom has also integrated with local banks enabling users to transact using the mobile money platform and across their accounts.
Simon Anderson, technology analyst at GlobalData, said: “Safaricom has continued to develop its digital services by expanding far beyond traditional telecoms territory in order to drive mobile money usage.”
Economists have said that the continent is coming off a low e-commerce base and this is attractive to those looking to establish themselves and capture early market share.
Anderson added, “Safaricom has been keen to establish a foothold in a potentially high-value market segment in this middle-income economy before international giants such as Amazon enter.”
At the same time, as it continues to concentrate on consolidation, the telco continues to face regulatory pressure, including being compelled to share agents and prepare for a scheduled hike in taxes on mobile cash.
The company is resisting the tax increase and argues it will impact negatively on mobile money transfers.
Sateesh Kamath, Chief Finance Officer at Safaricom said recently, “Increased excise duty on mobile money transfers will negatively impact mobile led transfer services and payments and slow down the government’s drive towards a cash-light economy.”