How Safaricom’s new kid on the block is simplifying payments

It is a trailblazing product that is fast catching on with consumers who are happy with its speed and convenience

09 Jun 2017 . 2,426 Views

Peter Mbugua, a taxi driver in Naivasha, has never been keen on embracing technology, especially not another mobile money service. He was happy with M-Pesa because of how it had changed his live.

But that was before he was introduced to M-Pesa 1Tap, an improvement on his much loved M-Pesa, which is aimed at accelerating and easing payments.

“It has been three weeks since I started using the technology and the results have been amazing. No complications and it’s one of the easiest modes of payment,” Mbugua said.

As its name suggests, M-PESA 1Tap is a faster way of paying using M-PESA. Using a card or wristband that is connected to your M-PESA account, you only need to tap once on an M-PESA 1Tap Point of Sale terminal and enter your Pin on your phone to complete the payment. The platform makes paying through Lipa Na M-Pesa, that much easier.

“M-PESA 1Tap will reduce the number of steps that a customer must undertake to pay for goods or services from the current eight steps to just one tap,” said Bob Collymore, CEO, Safaricom during its launch in May 2017.

With more and more many business outlets embracing this technology, Mbugua is happy to use this service make most of his payments.

“It is a secure platform and your pin number can never be compromised since the request is made in your personal phone,” Mbugua said adding, “I have been recommending it to my friends and the response is positive”.

The new feather on the M-Pesa cap comes 10 years after the introduction of the mobile money service which, according to a recent study by Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has lifted more than 800,000 Kenyans out of poverty.

Just like Mbugua, Simeon Kemboi, a resident of Nakuru, says M-Pesa 1Tap is a must have.

“I am not a person who embraces every new product that comes into the market. I take time and buy into it if I have to or ignore it all together,” he said.

But curiosity got the better of him when the service was introduced to him by Safaricom promoters. “They explained all the details pertaining to its use. It is simple to use and so everyone, regardless of the age, can understand,” said Kemboi.

He too has been using the technology for all his purchases. “In fact I have become a brand ambassador of 1Tap,” he quips.

When the promoters visited Kemboi’s office he was the one encouraging his colleagues to try the new product.

“Payment has been simplified because you will only need to have a card to make payments even to business people at the grassroots level who we are now using Lipa na Mpesa,” he said.

Juliet Kanyi, a shop owner, says M-Pesa 1Tap has made payments simpler which saves her and her customers time.

“My customers don’t have to queue to make payments. 1Tap has made it much easier,” she said.

“The promoting team has to do more reach all the corners of the country and I believe the product will be a success,” she concludes.

John Ndichu, who runs a cyber café, has heard about the new benefits of this innovation and can’t wait to join the bandwagon. He hopes Safaricom will make this happen soon.

The latest innovation comes hot on the heels of the introduction of the M-PESA app has more than one million downloads. Both the app and the 1Tap innovations are a marked improvement of the usage from the previous SMS and USSD experiences.

M-PESA has grown from a mobile money transfer service to serve the various needs of Kenyans – from services like savings, loans, payments for goods and services, international transfers and much, much more.

1Tap will supplement a number of initiatives that Safaricom has undertaken to expand the M-PESA ecosystem in the last year. In March, the telco introduced a 50 per cent tariff reduction for all Lipa Na M-PESA Buy Goods merchant fees.

Under this new Lipa Na M-PESA tariff, merchants are now charged a maximum of 0.5% of the transaction amount, down from the previous maximum of one per cent.

“We also introduced instant processing of payments to bank accounts for Lipa Na M-PESA merchants through partnerships with 23 participating banks,” he said.

Collymore also said Safaricom is in discussions with other mobile operators to launch mobile money interoperability in Kenya, which will allow M-PESA customers to send money to other mobile money platforms and vice versa.

“This will continue to position Kenya as one of the leading mobile money markets in the world,” said Collymore.

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