Since Safaricom launched M-PESA in March 2007, it has grown to be the most successful service of its kind anywhere in the world. With over 26 million customers, M-PESA has positively changed how people and businesses transact money on a day to day basis. However, as the world continues to evolve, we are continuously seeking faster and safer means to transact money. The Central Bank of Kenya statistics shows that mobile cashless payments account for 72.8% of cashless payments by value and 88% by number.
With that, Safaricom has introduced a more efficient and safe way of transacting money through M-PESA called M-PESA 1 Tap. This service, which marks an evolution of M-PESA will see the reduction of steps per transaction from eight to one. The service which was originally launched in Nakuru in May 2017 for a test run, was a success. More than 90,000 customers and 2000 merchants took up the service which was enough to propel Safaricom to launch it in other areas as well. M-PESA 1 Tap is now available in Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Eldoret, and Nyeri. For the residents in the other areas, M-PESA 1tap will be there in no time.
On the new service, Bob Collymore CEO, Safaricom said ‘As a trusted, easy and conventional cashless payment solution for more than 70,000 businesses in Kenya, Lipa na M-PESA is ready to advance to become a more seamless solution. M-PESA 1 Tap builds on a strong foundation built on 10 years of learning and feedback from both our customers and merchants. We hope it will transform the world of cashless payments.’
M-PESA 1 Tap which will soon be available to all Lipa na M-PESA merchants and customers aims to make it easier and faster to make and receive cashless payments. Customers need not to worry about sending or paying money to the wrong business establishments either. The service is set to increase the accuracy and privacy of Lipa na M-PESA by ensuring that payments are delivered to a matching merchant. Those few minutes when one realizes they have paid money to the wrong business can almost send one into cardiac arrest.
To use the service, customers will have the option of obtaining an M-PESA 1 Tap wristband, phone sticker or card which will allow payment integrations with M-PESA 1 Tap merchant terminals. I do not know about you, but that new wristband sounds like my new accessory. For those who may not like the idea of the wristbands or having another card added to your wallet, more convenient M-PESA 1 Tap solutions are set to be rolled out in time.
For the payment process, a merchant will key in the payment amount into their device, tap the customer tag whether from the wristband, card or sticker, then the customer will key in their PIN on their phone to validate their payment. The solution involves a Near Field Communication (NFC) based reader integrated to merchants Lipa na M-PESA tills. This will cut down the steps involved from using the M-PESA tool on sim cards to just one simple step for the customer.
This service will be progressively rolled out to leading supermarkets, petrol stations, and restaurants. Some of the merchants where customers can now make payments with M-PESA 1 Tap include; Shell, Naivas, Choppies, Kenol Kobil, KFC, Oil Libya, Total, and QuickMart.
Speaking on the matter of their partnership with Safaricom, Simon Mukuha, The Managing Director of Naivas said, ‘Naivas has been at the forefront of technology adoption which is why we are happy to deploy M-PESA 1 Tap. We believe it will greatly improve our customer experience by increasing the speed, accuracy, and privacy when paying by M-PESA at our outlets.’
It is a new dawn for M-PESA users worldwide. Technological development is bringing people new and better options to help us fasten our business transactions. Welcome to the era of paperless money.