VALUE ADDED SERVICES
By Semaj Itosno, Nairobi, Kenya
Kenyan banks are reported to be scrambling to leverage Safaricom’s mobile banking platform, M-PESA, to attract more customers.
Kenya’s CfC Stanbic Bank has now launched an electronic payments service that will provide its Business Banking and SME clients with the ability to accept M-PESA payments.
The payments are then settled into their bank accounts immediately or on demand without the need to physically go into a branch to deposit cash or fill any forms.
The service in conjunction with Safaricom’s mobile money transfer service, M-PESA (Lipa na M-PESA) & Kopo Kopo (Swahili for Credit Credit), allows merchants, shops, supermarkets and SMEs to not only accept payments on M-PESA but also extend banking services and products to the acquired businesses.
“We are delighted to be the first bank to sign on to M-PESA’s acquiring model and roll out such capability (on mobile money) that will ease the burden of periodic banking of cash by the business banking clients while minimising the risks involved in handling and transferring cash from their businesses to the bank,” said the Head of Personal and Business Banking at CfC Stanbic Bank, Adam Jones.
The service dubbed ‘Till2Bank’ will see Safaricom’s ‘Lipa na M-PESA’ platform take the role of retail payments. All payments made via Lipa na M-PESA will be credited into their CfC Stanbic Bank account on demand as opposed to the current to 24 – 48hrs settlement cycles on card.
To acquire a Lipa na M-PESA till number, CfC Stanbic Bank customers will be required to register with the bank by calling 0711 068 888 or SMS the word ‘LIPA’ to 22208. Alternatively customers can also email [email protected].
Most Kenyan banks have now incorporated M-PESA into their systems. This means their clients can transfer funds from their bank accounts to their M-PESA accounts and do not necessarily need to visit an ATM to access cash.
According to a recently launched book on M-PESA, the mobile money platform has earned its place as the most disruptive mobile money innovation and to date none other has come close.
With 18.2 million customers, M-PESA is the world’s first and indeed, most successful mobile money transfer service. The platform moves Ksh 77.3 billion a month in peer to peer transactions. A further Ksh 9.9 billion is moved in person to business transactions while person to business transactions account for Ksh 7.6 billion a month.
Launched as a simple money transfer service, M-PESA has evolved to a full payment service which now includes payment services and the Lipa na M-PESA service which is targeted at SMEs. Since launch in 2012, Lipa na M-PESA has so far recruited close to 37,000 users.