Safaricom launches M-Pesa Super App
Kenya’s Safaricom has launched a new version of its M-Pesa app with features that will enable seamless mobile money payments for customers and businesses alike.
Speaking at the launch of the Super App, Safaricom’s CEO Peter Ndegwa said that the focus for the telco is to develop digital-first experiences on the growing smartphone penetration in the country.
“At Safaricom, we have more than 8.5 million 4G smartphones on our network,” he said and added that the company’s Lipa Mdogo Mdogo plan to on-board feature phone users to a smartphone through daily payments is taking off.
The M-Pesa app, launched in May 2020, has already being used by over one million customers in Kenya, signalling a strong preference for app transactions according to Sitoyo Lopokoiyit, CEO M-Pesa Africa.
The Super App features biometric and face recognition in addition to the PIN login. The application can also work offline, taking into consideration the poor internet coverage in rural areas.
Third-party service providers also have an opportunity to integrate and host their applications on the M-Pesa application.
Already seven applications have been hosted in the app including BuuPass, a bus booking app, GiftPesa a voucher app, E-Bima, an insurance product and other ticketing applications.
According to Lopokoiyit, the launch of the M-Pesa Super App is a precursor for the expansion of the product throughout Africa, through the partnership with Vodacom and Safaricom. The application can now work without a mobile network, although initial registration does still require a mobile phone SIM.
Growth of M-Pesa Business
The company has seen a massive shift in business payments over the last year, buoyed by the global pandemic. According to Safaricom, there are currently 300,000 M-Pesa till and paybill numbers with an additional 5 million business accepting payments directly on their phones.
The digital management of business payments through the MPesa Business App and Pochi La Biashara (a separation service for businesses using their mobile numbers) has solidified MPesa’s enterprise transactions.
“Businesses told us that for the first time they had the tools to track their money as it came in and as they went out. They can pay for supplies, pay wages and buy from other businesses,” Ndegwa said. These business services now enable enterprises to access their money right away as opposed to waiting for settlements.
M-Pesa currently has 30 million transactions daily from 30 million customers.