Safaricom (NSE: SCOM) has today announced a number of initiatives that seek to further increase the convenience of M-PESA as it continues to extend the gains of mobile money ten years after its launch in Kenya.
From next week, Safaricom will implement a 50% tariff reduction for all Lipa Na M-PESA Buy Goods merchant fees. Under this new Lipa Na M-PESA tariff, merchants will be charged a maximum of 0.5% of the transaction amount, down from the previous maximum of 1%.
In addition, Lipa na M-PESA merchants will charged a flat fee of Sh200, for any payments above Sh40,000.
“We trust that this development will boost the attractiveness of the Lipa Na M-PESA platform to more small and medium enterprises while making the service more affordable compared to other alternatives in the market,” said Bob Collymore, CEO, Safaricom.
In addition, the M-PESA Kadogo tariff announced in October 2016 will be expanded for Lipa Na M-PESA Buy Goods to enable merchants to receive all transactions of Sh200 and below at no cost.
Merchants will also enjoy the convenience of instant processing of payments made through Lipa Na M-PESA to their bank accounts, with the service now available at 23 participating banks. This will cut down the time that it takes to move money from a Lipa Na M-PESA till to a bank account from as much as 28 hours down to seconds.
Safaricom’s reduction of the Lipa Na M-PESA tariffs and inclusion of more financial institutions under Real Time Settlements targets small and micro businesses, such as kiosks, bodabodas, matatus, newspaper vendors, hawkers, hotels, restaurants and small eateries amongst others. According to the Economic Survey, 80% of Kenyans are employed in the informal sector.
The changes in Lipa Na M-PESA will be effective in the first week of April 2017. Lipa Na M-PESA PayBill and Gaming merchant tariffs, and Lipa Na M-PESA petrol station tariffs will not be affected by these changes.
Today, Safaricom has also announced availability of M-PESA functionality in the mySafaricom App, which will see the more than 24 million M-PESA customers enjoy the convenience of transacting from their Android and iOS smartphones.
The app enables customers to select contacts from their phone when sending money and has a vastly improved implementation of the name search function Hakikisha — which allows the sender to confirm the recipient before the money is sent.
Customers will also have the convenience of confirming the names of agents or businesses before sending or withdrawing money as they complete Lipa Na M-PESA transactions.
In addition to eliminating the possibility of an error when performing M-PESA transactions, the mySafaricom App now offers a more refined user experience when interacting with M-PESA, enabling faster completion of transactions.