Kenyans will now be able to access their mail through their mobile phones after the launch of M-Post by Safaricom and Postal Corporation of Kenya.
The service can be accessed online through mpost.co.ke or through a USSD number, and the objective is to enroll over 5 million Kenyans without mail address box.
Safaricom says the service will improve the prospects of e-commerce by ensuring that buyers can easily register for delivery services through the product.
According to data from the Postal Corporation of Kenya, AliExpress now accounts for more than 62% of their deliveries following the latter’s partnership with M-Pesa in March 2019.
M-Post will give users a new address format using their mobile phone number as opposed to a random PO Box number.
Safaricom explained: “M-Post box numbers will be in the format ‘PO Box 254XXXXXXXXX’ where XXXXXXXXX denotes the customer’s mobile phone number, for example, ‘PO Box 254722000000’.”
However, the users will select their preferred physical post office where they can get their mail.
Michael Joseph, chief executive officer, Safaricom, said, “Kenya’s economy is increasingly digitizing leading to the growth of online delivery of goods and services. Posta’s logistical capabilities and Post Office branch network are well placed to meet this shift. We are therefore coming together to create value for our customers by empowering them to conveniently and affordably receive parcels and goods wherever they may be across the country.”
Joe Mucheru, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Information and Communication Technology added, “Posta Kenya has identified the importance of technology by developing new ground-breaking products that complement its core mandate of delivering financial, communication and distribution solutions to its customers.”
The solution will also offer doorstep mail delivery and pickup which will attract extra fees depending on location.
The numbers of letters sent through the post office has dropped drastically since the introduction of internet services such as email and OTT services such as WhatsApp.
According to the Communication Authority, the number of letters sent during the Financial Year under review dropped by 24.4% to 47.1 million from 62.3 million recorded in the Financial Year 2017/18.
“This may be attributed to the enhanced uptake of mobile messaging services and OTTs such as WhatsApp in the country because of their fast and affordable nature,” the CA noted.