Opera launches web payment platform in Kenya

New solution aims to facilitate Kenya and its highest rate of mobile payment technology adoption in the world.

Opera, the Norwegian developer of Opera Mini, the most popular mobile browser app in Africa, has integrated a new web payment platform in Kenya called OPay. The service directly runs on the Opera Mini browser, which will bring a new level of convenience to a nation that has become a world leader in leapfrogging its IT infrastructures with innovative, web-based solutions. This is part of the Opera’s $100 million investment initiative to grow the African digital economy announced earlier this year.

Designed to be a fast and secure payment option, OPay will enable not only Opera Mini but also other mobile browser users to top up their Safaricom, Airtel and Telkom mobile phone accounts, as well as pay electricity, cable TV and utility bills directly through its secure, user-friendly platform. It will also accommodate multiple payment methods, from major credit cards to Airtel Money and M-Pesa.

With so much of a community’s economic well-being resting on the efficient, affordable and easy transfer of funds, much of Africa finds itself in something of a catch-22 situation. Growing businesses in the digital age, particularly in Africa’s critically important informal sector (which accounts for as much as 60% of the total GDP in some African states), require easy and secure payment functions that help people get around the continent’s many gaping holes in service delivery and infrastructure.

“This mobile payment technology integrated into the Opera Mini browser will help Kenya continue the highest rate of mobile payment technology adoption in the world. More than 80 percent of the country’s population with access to a cell phone use it to pay for goods and services,” says Nuno Sitima, Executive Vice President of Payments and Fintech, Opera Software AS. “However, the challenges of long distances, difficult terrain and large rural populations who often lack access to formal banking systems are all addressed with OPay and the reach of the Opera Mini browser. Our ultimate goal is to fuel the growth of African businesses through a simple, affordable solution that can encompass many payment methods in one easy-to-use app.”