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Alibaba allows Safaricom’s M-Pesa to be used for ecommerce payments

Mobile payments may not have delivered MNOs in developed economies the new revenues they had hoped for when contactless NFC technology was first incorporated into handsets. The leading role in that value chain quickly passed to Apple and Google, but in emerging economies, simpler payments systems, often based on SMS, have been a significant boost to MNO businesses, as the success of M-Pesa in Kenya has demonstrated. And some of the new MNOs, such as Reliance Jio and Japan’s Rakuten, have put payments at the heart of their mobile digital services platform (the latter helped by its existing core business in online shopping and finance). Now the two trends are colliding in a deal between Safaricom, the biggest operator of…

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