Charles Elliman, ex-MWEB exec, to lead Safaricom’s foray into e-commerce industry

Finally, Safaricom last week launched its e-commerce portal, Masoko, (Swahili for ‘markets’), through which it aims to leverage the mobile phone to provide local merchants with an alternative channel to sell their products online.

Masoko, which enables users to access groceries to books to auto parts, accepts all mobile money payments as well as Visa and MasterCard payments (and not just Safaricom’s own MPESA), has partnered with Wells Fargo and Sendy for logistics.

And with Masoko, Safaricom now joins an industry with already established veterans including JumiaKilimall and MallforAfrica among others.

But before it went live, there was a team working behind the scenes developing the platform and trying it out internally before it could be opened up and unveiled to the public for general use.

Now, the person has since April this year headed that team is Charles Elliman. As head of e-Commerce at Safaricom, Elliman – who has worked in e-commerce and online payments for 16 years – is responsible for standards, technologies and practices for both business-to-business and business-to-consumer e-commerce models.

“He has an advanced understanding of all ecommerce, instore and online payments related tasks. He facilitates complex relationships among marketing, promotion, customer service, user interaction, purchasing methods, and secure transactions,” states his professional profile.

“He oversees site performance, payments and testing and evaluation, working in an environment within policies and procedures. Charles has knowledge in the areas of logistics, rewards, NCP transacting, fraud and risk , online web strategy and credit card acquiring.”

Elliman began his professional journey in 1999 at MWEB Business – a South Africa-based ISP – as Web Security Manager in the firm’s product and marketing division. He served there for 10 years before moving to eBucks for a short stint.

In April 2011, Elliman joined PayU – the e-payments division of Naspers – as head of Sales for Africa and Middle East region, serving there form almost 7 years. Before joining Safaricom, he held the head of business development and payments at TotalSend in South Africa.


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