Kenya's Pesapal Is Launching A Point Of Sale System To Help Online Businesses Collect Payments Offline

PesaPal, an e-commerce platform built to work seamlessly with Kenya’s main mobile and online payment services, is set to launch its own point of sale system. This would put the payment service in the same league as Stripe and Shopify, who have taken on existing payment systems by targeting small retailers and mobile commerce operators.

This move, which is bound to stir the payments ecosystem in Kenya, was announced by PesaPal CEO Agosta Liko. during his keynote address at the Quartz Africa Innovator Summit in Nairobi. Majority of point of sale machines in Kenya are operated by banks using Visa, Mastercard and Kenswitch to process transactions, and PesaPal's entry could challenge this monopoly with interesting results.

According to Liko, many consumers would still want to pay at point-of-sale terminals when procuring goods or services. This is one area he sees a new opportunity for his company, which is now operational in half a dozen countries in Africa.

The plan is already underway, with a launch expected within a month's time. The POS will enable business owners to accept payments conveniently and PesaPal to tap into the ever growing payment cards market to rack up its income.

Businesses that use PesaPal pay a one-time fee of $50, after which they get a plugin that they can then integrate into their websites. More advanced implementers can access and use PesaPal's API to allow for merchant and buyer verification as well as transaction processing.

The PesaPal POS system will support mobile money, and it also comes with card readers to process credit card payments. This way, stores that operate online can collect and process payments offline.

“Within the next 30 days, we will launch what we feel is African adaptation of what Square and Shopify look like. We are moving from e-commerce payments to point-of-sale payments,” Liko added.

PesaPal largely serves corporates and is gradually moving into supporting micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), a market segment that it hopes will account for 80-90 percent of its revenues in the next two years.