• MPost has been in operation for some time through the Postal Corporation of Kenya, but the Safaricom partnership is being treated as something of a relaunch

Safaricom to reboot MPost

Safaricom to reboot MPost

Source: Sergey Pesterev / Unsplash

Safaricom is working to reboot Kenya’s MPost digital postal service, which uses phone numbers in place of traditional post office box (POBox) numbers. Although MPost has been in operation for some time through the Postal Corporation of Kenya, the Safaricom partnership is being treated as something of a relaunch, kickstarting the service as a digital alternative to POBoxes. MPost now allows Safaricom subscribers to rent physical POBoxes by registering with their phone number, at a quarter of the cost for a traditional box. On top of being more affordable, MPost is pitched as offering a more secure and convenient alternative to the common Kenyan practice of sharing POBoxes. This could be seen as another weapon in Safaricom’s arsenal as it expands in e‑commerce and builds on its M‑PESA m‑payment success by making it easier for its customers to receive delivery of online orders. It also comes at an interesting time for Kenya, as the country’s Communications Authority finalises plans for the national addressing system — a move that in other developing countries has made the POBox system less of a necessity for most households by assigning each property a formalised address.