After his visit to Nigeria, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is visiting Kenya on his first trip to Africa, using his time in the country to visit the iHub technology hub in Nairobi, meet with developers and partners, and explore how the country’s pioneering mobile money ecosystem is evolving.
Zuckerberg is in Kenya to see how technology innovation is changing the country, learn more about what mobile entrepreneurs are doing with the latest technology, and find out how Facebook can better support small businesses, developers and content creators across growing markets.
He’s particularly excited to see how mobile money and social media are driving commerce in the region and creating new opportunities for entrepreneurs and communities.
At iHub, Zuckerberg TED fellow and entrepreneur, Eric Hersman. Edna Kwinga, Chief Human Resource Officer and Marie Amuti, UX designer at Twiga Foods, a mobile based-business-to-business supplier of fresh fruits and vegetables, Eric Thimba and Porgie Gachui co-founders of Mookh, a digital payments start-up and Wandia Gichuru, CEO, and Makena Mutwiri, Head of Marketing of Vivo Active Wear, an online women’s clothes store does most of its business via Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp. The transactions are conducted with mobile money.
Zuckerberg also spent some time hanging out with developers in The Community Space and marveling over the ingenuity of BRCK, that built a rugged, self-powered, mobile WiFi device which connects people and things to the internet in areas of the world with poor infrastructure.
In March last year, Facebook announced a new feature in Messenger that gives people a more convenient and secure way to send or receive money between friends. This feature will be rolling out over the coming months in the US. If any deal is signed with Safaricom on M-Pesa, Kenyans will easily start transacting and sending money to their peers via their Messenger apps directly from their phones like they do with M-Pesa.
To send money users will log into their app accounts, chat their friends and click on the $ icon and enter the amount they want to send. Users then tap Pay in the top right and add their debit card details to send money.
On the other hand, receiving money, a user will open a conversation, tap the Add Card and this case add M-Pesa number in the message and sent or receive money. This is yet to be discussed though.
Digital money transfer startup Azimo announced it had integrated with Facebook Messenger to allow its users send money to anywhere in the world via Messenger, which has over a billion users. Facebook said the integration is in line with its dream of making Messenger a platform for just about anything-from cab hailing, video calls and home or rental property search.