Deal with Western Union to enable Kenyans pay cash for Amazon purchases




 Western Union, a cross-border, cross-currency money transfer provider, has unveiled a new payment option that allows Amazon.com customers in Kenya to pay in local currency for their Amazon.com purchases. The service is being offered initially in 10 countries – Chile, Colombia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Kenya, Malaysia, Peru, Philippines, Taiwan and Thailand – enabling customers who prefer to pay in cash to shop Amazon.com’s vast product selection.

Western Union’s platform is powering Amazon’s new cross-border payment option, called Amazon PayCode, by processing the complex foreign exchange, settlement and money movement requirements for international e-commerce transactions.

(TOP: An Amazon.com customer making payment in cash at a participating Western Union agent location in Nairobi, Kenya. Western Union and Amazon unveiled a new payment option allowing customers to pay in cash, in Kenyan Shillings for their Amazon.com purchases). 

After selecting PayCode on the Amazon.com checkout page, customers will be sent a code, along with instructions on how to pay in person at a participating Western Union agent location. The move by Western Union and Amazon will provide greater access to online goods for customers who have largely been excluded from e-commerce shopping due to lack of accepted payment methods.

Forrester Research estimates that cross-border shopping will represent 20% of e-commerce by 2022, with sales reaching $630 billion. Choice, quality and cost are the main motivations for customers to shop online from overseas, but there are challenges and concerns about the lack of payment options for those who prefer to pay in person or those who do not have access to international credit cards or debit cards.

“We’re helping to unlock access to Amazon.com for customers who need and want items that can only be found online in many parts of the world,” said Khalid Fellahi, SVP and GM of Western Union Digital. “This is a great example of two global brands innovating and collaborating to bring customers more convenience and choice. In a world where cross-border buyers and sellers are often located on different continents and in completely different financial ecosystems, our platform is ideally suited to solving the complexity of collecting local currency and converting it into whatever currency merchants need on the other end.”

“Amazon is committed to enabling customers anywhere in the world to shop on Amazon.com, and a big part of that is to allow customers to pay for their cross-border online purchases in a way that is most convenient for them”, said Ben Volk, Director, Payment Acceptance and Experience at Amazon. “Amazon PayCode leverages the reach of Western Union to make cross-border online shopping a reliable and convenient experience for customers who do not have access to international credit cards, or prefer to pay in cash.”

With operations in more than 200 countries and territories, Western Union’s platform processed an average of 32 transactions every second and moved $300 billion in principal across 130 currencies in 2017.

Connecting the digital and physical worlds of money, Western Union’s technology stack, APIs, foreign exchange and settlement engine, agent network, anti-money laundering and fraud detection capabilities make it one of the largest digital and physical money movers for consumers around the globe. The company offers digital transactions in more than 50 countries and territories. Approximately 70% of Western Union’s digital transactions globally now originate on mobile devices.

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