, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 29 – Safaricom has announced that it will reduce all Lipa Na M-PESA Buy Goods merchant fee tariff by 50 percent beginning the first week of April.
Under the new tariff, merchants will be charged a maximum of 0.5 percent of the transaction amount, down from the previous maximum of 1 percent.
The merchants shall also be required to pay a flat fee of Sh200 for any payments above Sh40,000.
They will also receive all transactions of Sh200 and below at no cost.
Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore says the move is expected to boost the attractiveness of the Lipa Na M-PESA platform to more small and medium enterprises and make the service more affordable compared to other alternatives in the market.
The company says the changes target small and micro-businesses, such as kiosks, boda bodas, matatus, newspaper vendors, hawkers, hotels, restaurants and small eateries amongst others, sectors that are part of the informal sectors which employs 80 percent of Kenyans.
“Merchants will also enjoy the convenience of instant processing of payments made through Lipa Na M-PESA to their bank accounts, with the service now available at 23 participating banks. This will cut down the time that it takes to move money from a Lipa Na M-PESA till to a bank account from as much as 28 hours down to seconds,” Safaricom says in a statement.
At the same time, Safaricom has announced the launch of the M-PESA app which will be integrated into the MySafaricom app, launched over a year ago.
The app will transactions to be conducted from the Android and iOS Smartphones and will target the company’s 24 million M-PESA customers.
“The app enables customers to select contacts from their phone when sending money and has a vastly improved implementation of the name search function Hakikisha – which allows the sender to confirm the recipient before the money is sent,” reads the statement.
“Customers will also be able to confirm the names of agents or businesses before sending or withdrawing money as they complete Lipa Na M-PESA transactions.”