M-PESA targets SMEs
Safaricom’s M-PESA has now set its sights on the medium and small enterprises with the launch of Lipa Na M-PESA- a campaign aimed at entrenching the use of its payment services as primary tool of transactions.
Lipa na M-PESA is an umbrella service for the M-PESA payment services which include: Payment of salaries, utility payments, promotional payouts, dividend payments as well as payments within the transport industry.
The first phase of Lipa na M-PESA is anchored on an aggressive countrywide recruitment exercise targeting to enrol more than 100,000 small and medium sized businesses by April 2014.
To ensure the success of the campaign, Safaricom has simplified the registration process for the traders who will only be required to produce copies of a PIN certificate, Identification Card and trading license in order to get a till number.
Safaricom's General Manager for Financial Services, Betty Mwangi-Thuo, noted that by adopting M-PESA as a primary tool for transactions, traders will not only have ready access to more than 17 million M-PESA customers, but they will also be able to provide their customers with a safer and more convenient way of making payments.
"By using the M-PESA payment services, traders will handle less cash and will therefore be less susceptible to risks associated with cash handling such as theft and fake currency. In addition, Lipa Na M-PESA will also help traders enhance business efficiency," said Ms. Mwangi-Thuo.
Safaricom CEO, Bob Collymore noted that the widespread use M-PESA of was driving the country's cash lite economy agenda, which he said is a more secure and efficient method of transacting. He lauded the initiative, which he noted would transform the Kenyan business landscape.
"Lipa na Mpesa is one of the ways through which we want to make mobile money work in micro-transactions. We want the mama mboga to tell you that it is ok to pay for your sukuma via M-PESA or for the kibanda guy to say it is ok for our customers to pay for a plate of food via M-PESA. In the end, we want Mpesa to be celebrated not because it is a clever product; but because it is a product that is giving practical solutions to everyday problems,"said Collymore.
CBK reports indicate that the country's financial inclusion levels are now at 80%, with mobile money contributing 57% of the total number of Kenyans with access to some form of formal financial platform. With 17 million subscribers, Safaricom's M-PESA is arguably, Kenya's leading platform for the country's financial inclusion agenda.
To use the Lipa na M-PESA service, customers will be required to go the M-PESA Menu, select Payments Services and select Buy Goods, then enter the Till Number that the merchants will display, and follow subsequent prompts to complete the transactions. Both the merchant and the customer will then get confirmation receipts from M-PESA.