Safaricom and the Postal Corporation of Kenya (Posta) on Friday announced an agreement that will allow Safaricom customers to use their phone numbers as their post office box address for Ksh300 a year.
In a press dispatch, Safaricom said the service targets 5 million customers across the country.
Under the partnership, Safaricom customers can register for a post office box linked to their mobile number.
“Kenya’s economy is going digital leading to the growth of online delivery of goods and services. Posta’s logistical capabilities and post office branch network are well placed to meet this shift,” said interim Safaricom CEO Micheal Joseph “We are therefore coming together for our customers by empowering them to receive parcels and goods wherever they may be across the country”
When registering for MPost, customers will have the option of selecting which post office to pick their deliveries from by keying the postal code of the particular branch. Customers can also change their preferred post office at no additional cost.
Posta CEO Dan Kagwe said the partnership will enable Safaricom’s more than 34 million customers to access postal services from the 625 Postal outlets spread across the country, directly from their mobile phones.
MPost box numbers will be in the format “P. O. Box 254XXXXXXXXX” where X denotes the customer’s mobile phone number.
Customers using the service will receive their mail at no cost as is the case with a traditional box, and they will receive an SMS notification whenever they have mail to be collected at their postal branch. The mail can then be collected over the next 7 days over the counter.
“I am proud to state that Posta Kenya has identified the importance of technology by developing new ground-breaking products that complement its core mandate of delivering financial, communication and distribution solutions to its customers, said ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru. in the joint statement
Customers can also choose additional services such as physical delivery of mail to their doorstep, or mail pickup for delivery. Both services will be offered at an additional fee per delivery based on the source or destination.
The partnership looks to address numerous challenges faced by Kenyans around postal services and logistics.
According to government data, more than 4,000 driving licenses are returned every two months due to failure of their owners to collect them.
Kenyans without a post office box also miss out on opportunities such as e-commerce. Data from the Postal Corporation of Kenya shows that AliExpress now accounts for more than 62 percent of their deliveries following the latter’s partnership with M-Pesa in March 2019.