Safaricom subscribers will now get parcels and letters delivered at their homes after the telecommunications firm inked a deal with Postal Corporation of Kenya (PCK) to start digital mailboxes.
Subscribers will register for the digital mailboxes by dialling *234*1* 9 # and use their mobile numbers as addresses. They will then get alerts on their phones whenever they receive a parcel and pick it up at PCK counters.
Safaricom, which has over 32 million subscribers, will charge Sh300 in annual subscriptions for the digital mailboxes, called M-Posta. Compared to PCK, which charges Sh2,027 for its brick and mortar individual letter boxes annually, subscribers stand to make big savings.
This will offer Kenyans even cheaper parcel delivery fees compared to courier firms that charge up to Sh300 for a one-time parcel delivery to their offices.
Safaricom says the digital mailboxes will save customers potentially fruitless trips to PCK branches to check on the status of their parcels. Doorstep deliveries will, however, come at an extra fee that Safaricom is yet to disclose.
ICT Secretary Joe Mucheru said that the deal will increase Kenyans’ participation in e-commerce as the country moves closer to a platform that delivers goods at their doorsteps.
“At the touch of a button, M-Post provides anyone in the country with a virtual post office box and can easily receive parcels and letters. Through Safaricom, you will now have your address, share it with the world and take part in global e-commerce,” Mr Mucheru said.
PCK chief executive Dan Kagwe said that the deal will boost the country’s goal of bringing over 50 percent of the population under e-commerce in under five years.
“We can move e-commerce locally by more than 50 percent in the next five years through this partnership. Now we will become the pivot for logistics in Kenya and the hub for East Africa,” Mr Kagwe said yesterday.
The deal comes three years after a similar platform launched by PCK, called Posta Mkononi, when the agency tried to woo young people who have no traditional letter boxes.