As they announced their 2017 financial results today, Safaricom also unveiled 1Tap – the next step of innovation to drive increased financial inclusion in Keyna.
M-Pesa is ten years old and CEO Bob Collymore said that Safaricom was launching “Mpesa 1 tap” which would reduce the number of steps to complete an M-Pesa transaction, currently about 8 steps on SMS and USSD, to just 1 step.
At the result announcement, the Safaricom CFO Sateesh Kamath said that while 75% of M-Pesa revenue was from traditional person to person transfers, 25% was new from new business like “Lipa na Mpesa” (pay with M-pesa) payments.
Buy Goods is free for customers, except at petrol stations which levy an additional charge, and just over a month ago, Safaricom announced a 50% tariff reduction for all Lipa Na M-PESA Buy Goods merchant fees – to 0.5% of the transaction amount. These were also was capped to Kshs 200 for any payments over Kshs 40,000 (~$400) while payments to merchants below Kshs 200 were made free. Lipa Na M-pesa is used by over 50,000 merchants and Safaricom plans to enable more kiosks, boda-bodas, newspaper vendors and other merchants who are in the informal sector where 80% of Kenyan work to receive such vital business payments at no cost.
Merchants can also get instant payments into their bank accounts at any of 23 partner banks (of the 40 banks in Kenya) from a Lipa Na M-pesa menu in their phones in just a few seconds – and this is useful as many of the merchants don’t have time to go to the bank to deposit cash.
With 1 Tap, all a customer needs to do is tap their cards on the mobile POS machines and then enter their secret M-Pesa PIN to confirm the transaction. Pilot testing for Mpesa 1 Tap has been ongoing in Nakuru where the service now has 13,000 customers and 900 merchants. Kenyans briefly got to see what NFC could work with the Beba Pay service a few years ago, with payments in public service vehicles.
EDIT October 3 Following successful trials over the last four months in Nakuru, Safaricom announced the availability of M-PESA 1Tap in Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Eldoret and Nyeri. ..M-PESA 1Tap will be available to all Lipa Na M-PESA merchants and customers and aims to make it faster and easier to make and receive cashless payments.
M-PESA 1Tap 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 1Tap include Shell, Naivas, Choppies, KenolKobil, KFC, Oil Libya, Total and QuickMart. The merchant solution currently involves an NFC based reader integrated to merchants Lipa Na M-PESA tills.
Customers will initially have the option of obtaining an M-PESA 1Tap wristband, phone sticker or card which will allow payment integrations with M-PESA 1Tap merchant terminals. More convenient M-PESA 1Tap solutions are set to be rolled out in future. The tags are available from Safaricom shops and dealers from Ksh. 20.