Bernard Rono, Team leader Nakuru Safaricom shop, with Linda Mahonja from sales explains how to use the M PESA 1 Tap card to Samuel Maina during the launch of the services in Nakuru. PHOTO | COURTESYBernard Rono, Team leader Nakuru Safaricom shop, with Linda Mahonja from sales explains how to use the M PESA 1 Tap card to Samuel Maina during the launch of the services in Nakuru. PHOTO | COURTESY
By MAGDALENE WANJA, [email protected]

Safaricom has launched a new M-Pesa payment service which shoppers can use to pay for goods and services from their M-Pesa accounts using a card.

Already, the leading mobile service provider has signed up 13,000 customers in Nakuru to the newly launched M-Pesa 1Tap service.

“We decided to run it in Nakuru in the next one to two months which has a good environment and customer base, but it shall be introduced to the other parts of the country after one or two months,” said the Regional Director of Sales and Operations Mr Steve Okeyo.

After a customer is done with shopping, the merchant uses a gadget referred to as Point of Sale (POS), where after a single tap, the customer receives a message requesting for the pin number, which then completes the transaction.

LESS TIME CONSUMING

The new process is less time consuming according to Safaricom.

“The usual Lipa na M-pesa service usually has eight steps which have since been reduced () in the new service) to two quick steps making it faster and convenient like the name suggests,” said Mr Okeyo.

A customer may prefer to use a card, a wristband on a phone sticker, which is tapped on POS gadget.

According to Mr Okeyo, there will be improved privacy in the process of buying goods as customers will not be required to show the transaction message to the merchant like before.

He noted that through the Hakikisha service introduced a year ago, which allows the customer to confirm the recipient in a transaction, the number of complaints of wrong transactions have reduced significantly.

“The customer will not be required to show the SMS of a transaction through Lipa na M-pesa thus more privacy,” said Mr Okeyo.

10 YEARS OF M-PESA

According to the company’s director of financial services and head of M-pesa Mr Ronald Webb, the service has been introduced as the company celebrates ten years since introduction of the mobile banking platform.

According to Mr Webb, the merchants using the service are now charged a maximum of 0.5 per cent of the transaction amount from the previous maximum of one per cent.

“The Rift Valley region is critical to us and we have since expanded our retail shop in Naivasha, launched Faiba for business in Eldoret and recently opened regional offices in Nakuru,” he said.