Business & TechnologyEast AfricaKenyaNews

Kenya: Transition to Digital World, Mobile Phone Numbers to be Used as Post Office Boxes

Safricom, Kenya’s biggest telecoms operator has now provided a service where Kenyans will be able to rent out post office boxes using their mobile phone numbers and consequently receive letters and parcels.
5 million people is the target population that will now be users of the new service called MPost created by Safricom. Safricom a company, which is part-owned by South Africa’s Vodacom, upgrades its infrastructure for its new fledgling electronic commerce business. Safricom has always had digital ambitions as it has forged to break into the growing e-commerce business world. Though their evolution to e-commerce has been slow, Safaricom, which also counts Britain’s Vodafone and the Kenyan government as key shareholders, has evolved into a platform company, offering mobile financial services via M-Pesa as well other services.
The new service called Dubbed MPost, will be offered jointly with the Postal Corporation of Kenya, which will rent out physical post office boxes to Safaricom customers using their mobile phone numbers, at a quarter of the going rate for conventional boxes. “Kenya’s economy is increasingly digitising, leading to the growth of online delivery of goods and services,” said Safaricom acting CEO Michael Joseph during the launch of MPost. Safaricom’s more than 30 million users will access services from 625 postal outlets across the country, said Post Master General Dan Kagwe, adding that the postal service was adapting to meet customer demand in the digital world. Users will be notified though a short message that their mail has arrived, allowing them go pick it up from the counter, Safaricom and the Postal Corporation said. According to Safricom on Friday, Customers who opt to have their parcels delivered to their doors will have to pay extra.
“At the touch of a button, MPost provides anyone in the country with a virtual post office box and can easily receive parcels and letters,” Joe Mucheru, the minister for information and communication, said at the launch of the service.

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