Safaricom has rolled out a new payment proposition, dubbed M-PESA 1 Tap following a successful pilot which started June last year. The solution is a Tap and Go payment method that should enhance the monetary settlement of services and products for M-Pesa customers.
The M-PESA 1 Tap rollout will first be done in Nakuru County before spreading to the rest of the country. It aims to reduce the number of steps required by customers to make a Lipa Na M-PESA payment from eight steps to two steps- adding speed and convenience.
Customers will have a choice to either use a Near Field Communication (NFC) enabled card, wristband or phone sticker. To make payments, customers will tap their cards, wristbands or stickers on an M-PESA 1 Tap Point of Sale terminal (POS), and enter their PIN on their phone to confirm and complete the payment.
The enhancement of customer experience has been motivated by the need to roll out applicable solutions to complement its array of services in the M-Pesa based ecosystem, including, M-Shwari, its ever-improving my Safaricom App and Lipa Na M-Pesa solutions.
Speaking at the announcement of the company’s financial year results, CEO Safaricom Bob Collymore said that the launch of M-PESA 1 Tap marks the next phase in the M-PESA journey as they aim bring to consumers innovations that further enhance the speed, safety and convenience of the service
The number of payments on M-PESA have grown significantly since it was launched 10 years ago and the growing numbers of person-to-person transactions is only a testament to how Lipa Na M-PESA has become an integral part of the day to day lives of Kenyans.
M-PESA customers will also benefit from a higher level of privacy as they can now complete Lipa Na M-PESA payments without having to show confirmation messages as has been the case in some instances. In addition, the solution will reduce errors that occur when payments are made to unintended Till Numbers.
In line with the current practice, customers will continue making Lipa Na M-PESA Buy Goods transactions with M-PESA 1 Tap at no cost, with the exception of petrol station tariffs, betting and Pay Bills. Retailers purchasing from wholesalers will also maintain their current Buy Goods Distributor tariff. Merchants across the country will be issued with M-PESA 1 Tap Point of Sale terminals in line with the phased roll out. Both customers and merchants will be issued with M-PESA 1 Tap payment devices and two subsequent replacement will be free.
The launch of M-PESA 1 Tap comes on the heels of the recent reduction by half of Lipa Na M-PESA Buy Goods merchant tariffs. Safaricom also announced the expansion of M-PESA Kadogo to Lipa Na M-PESA Buy Goods, eliminating merchant charges for all Lipa Na M-PESA Buy Goods transactions of Sh200 and below, a move that was recently implemented to enhance the sustenance of small businesses around the country.
The sign up for the new M-Pesa 1 tap card is free and is set to rival Visa and MasterCard by a huge margin if implementation goes as planned but with the already 13,000 customers and 900 merchants who have registered for the service in Nakuru alone, the user experience for M-Pesa customers is bound to change soon.