Safaricom has launched a tap-and-go M-Pesa card intended to ease mobile money payments in a bid to grow revenues.
The M-Pesa card will allow customers to make payments at retail point-of-sale (PoS) terminals by tapping their tags on them and inputting their security codes after a real-time pop-up prompt. “M-Pesa 1 Tap will reduce the number of steps a customer needs to take to pay for goods and services from the current eight to just one,” Safaricom chief executive Bob Collymore said.
“It will supplement the number of initiatives that we’ve taken to expand the M-Pesa ecosystem in the past few years.” The card, which is near-field communication (NFC) enabled, has been rolled out in Nakuru — with a nationwide launch scheduled for July. Its variants include a phone sticker and a wristband.
Normal M-Pesa charges will apply. Customers will not be required to show cashiers their “confirmation” messages as proof of payment. Kenya’s economy is still mainly reliant on cash payments with plastic cards and mobile money services such as M-Pesa, Airtel Money and Orange Money still lagging behind.
Safaricom’s move to ease M-Pesa payments through the cards is an attempt to grow its income from retail payments and boost mobile money revenue which stood at Sh55.1 billion in March, a 32.7 per cent year-on-year growth. The telco has issued the devices to 13,000 customers in Nakuru and 600 retailers in the town have acquired the NFC-compatible PoS machines.