Deacons Kenya Customers to Pay via M-PESA

Nairobi, March 15, 2011… Deacons Kenya Limited customers can now pay for their goods using the globally acclaimed M-PESA service.

The move follows a partnership agreement signed between integrated communications company Safaricom and leading lifestyle company Deacons Kenya Limited.

Dubbed Nunua na M-PESA, the service will be the second on the M-PESA Buy Goods menu after a similar agreement was signed with supermarket giants Uchumi and Naivas late last year.

Over 13.5 million M-PESA customers now stand to benefit from this enhanced, safe and efficient shopping experience at all the 21 Deacons stores countrywide.

Deacons stores operate under the following brands; Woolworths, Truworths, Identity, 4U2, Mr. Price, Mr Price Home, Angelo, Adidas and Life Fitness.

Speaking during the launch of the service at Sarit Centre, Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore said Safaricom was leading the way towards a mobile wallet and a complete cash-less society, thereby reducing the risks that come with carrying cash.

"We have today witnessed the launch of another value added service from the M-PESA stable. Safaricom is leading the way in entrenching mobile and online payments among Kenyans, thereby reducing the risks involved in carrying cash," said Mr. Collymore.

Mr. Collymore added that the company would continue partnering with other service providers both public and private to come up with innovations that improve the living standards of its customers.

"We are continuously partnering with other organizations in our quest to innovate cutting edge products and services that improve the lives of ordinary Kenyans and our customers in general," he added.

Since launch in March 2007, M-PESA has evolved beyond money transfer into a total mobile commerce solution. Towards this end, Safaricom has partnered over 600 utility providers cutting across various sectors of the economy.

Last month, Safaricom partnered with I&M Bank and Visa International to launch the M-PESA Prepay Visa Card making shopping, both locally and internationally, a convenient for M-PESA users as they can easily pay using the Visa Pre-Paid card. Deacon's high-net customers will enjoy the convenience of shopping with M-PESA Prepay Visa card.

Deacons Kenya Limited CEO Muchiri Wahome said Nunua na M-PESA would greatly improve on efficiency for its customers by giving them a convenient mode of payment.

Said Mr Wahome: "Having been in this market for the last 53 years, Deacons is continuously looking for new ways of meeting and exceeding our customers' expectations. In line with this, we are embracing new technology to keep abreast with our customers and make shopping indeed a pleasant and remarkable experience for our customers in Nairobi and Mombasa,"

About Deacons Kenya Ltd... Founded in 1958 Deacons Kenya Limited has traded successfully for 22 years as the Marks & Spencer (M&S) franchise for the East African region. The company underwent a major realignment in 1980 when the Kenyan Government placed restrictions on all imported goods to protect local industry. This led to Deacons relinquishing the Marks & Spencer franchise to work with over 70 suppliers from the local textile industry to supply its stores.

After liberalization in the early 1990's in order to meet growing customer needs, Deacons ventured into franchising brands such as Woolworths, Truworths, Identity, Mr Price, Mr Price Home, Adidas and Life Fitness. In addition to this, Deacons also created self owned brands – 4U2 and Angelo. The company now manages and owns 25 (twenty five) stores in the East African region with an additional five stores due to be launched by June 2011.

About Safaricom's M-PESA... The M-PESA service, the first of its kind in the world, was launched in March 2007. As at 31st January, 2011, the service had over 13.5 million customers and over 24,000 Agent outlets countrywide. Over 600 organizations are now accepting Bill Payment via M-PESA.

The service does not require users to have a bank account; an important aspect in Kenya, where millions of people do not operate bank accounts. With M-PESA, account holders can buy electronic funds at an M-PESA agent and send the electronic value to any other mobile phone user in the country, who can then redeem it for conventional cash at any M-PESA agent.

M-PESA customers can hold up to Ksh100,000 in their M-PESA account at any one time, and can do transactions of up to Ksh140,000 in a day. Between Ksh50 and Ksh70,000 can be deposited, sent or withdrawn per transaction. 


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