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Thursday, August 19, 2010

The war of the payment platforms

... promises to get more interesting as we go along. The arrival of the latest entrant called Paysure is sure to add some spice to the highly competitive market. The incumbents, who include pesapal, mi-pay, sleek-pay, I&M and of course the ubiquitous Mpesa, are all struggling to be heard above the din of free enterprise. The prize they are all chasing is to be chosen as the primary payment channel for the burgeoning group of e-commerce players in Kenya. So far many websites have understandably opted to play it safe and piggy-back on the Mpesa bandwagon, but it is often offered alongside the other options, with the exception perhaps of Zap which for obvious reasons hasn’t quite caught on with Kenya’s new ‘e-preneurs’, despite having very similar functionality. For the benefit of the merchant-to-be out there who is uncertain which model suits his business I will split the various options into three groups, namely phone-based, account-based and card-based. The phone-based group includes

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