, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 24 – Safaricom has now set its sights on Small and Medium Enterprises with the launch of Lipa Na M-PESA, a campaign aimed at entrenching the use of its payment service as primary tool of transactions.
Lipa na M-PESA will include payment of salaries, utility payments, promotional payouts, dividend payments as well as costs within the transport industry.
The first phase of the new service is anchored on an aggressive countrywide recruitment exercise targeting to enrol more than 100,000 SMEs by April next year.
Traders who want to register will be required to produce copies of a PIN certificate, Identification Card and trading license in order to get a till number.
“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,” Safaricom’s General Manager for Financial Services, Betty Mwangi-Thuo said.
To use the Lipa na M-PESA service, customers will be required to go the M-PESA Menu, select payment 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.
“Lipa na M-PESA 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 M-PESA to be celebrated not because it is a clever product; but because it is a product that is giving practical solutions to everyday problems,” Safaricom CEO, Bob Collymore noted.
Central Bank of Kenya reports indicate that the country’s financial inclusion levels are now at 80 percent, with mobile money contributing 57 percent of the total number of Kenyans with access to some form of formal financial platform.