Safaricom eyes opportunity as more small businesses join M-Pesa
M-Pesa continues to make inroads in Kenya, particularly within the small business segment of the market.
According to Safaricom the number of businesses utilising the service has passed 200,000.
Launched in 2012, Lipa Na M-Pesa empowers businesses to make and receive payments from any customer or any other business across the country.
Safaricom says the service particularly caters to businesses by providing higher transaction and account limits, more secure payments and easy integration with business systems and other financial services.
Peter Ndegwa, CEO, Safaricom, says: “The mobile phone has today become the most preferred alternative to cash and its popularity only continues to grow. More than ever, an increasing number of businesses are discovering the numerous advantages of cashless payments resulting in high growth for Lipa Na M-Pesa. We continue to add more features and tools with a goal of empowering our business customers to grow and better manage their businesses.”
Safaricom adds in recent months there has been an increase in the uptake of Lipa Na M-Pesa, as more businesses, especially small businesses, have adopted cashless payments and gone online in response to COVID-19.
“The rush by businesses in taking up the service has also been to meet growing uptake of Lipa Na M-PESA amongst Kenyans, with customers using the service increasing by 1 million since January 2020 to more than 6 million today,” the company claims.
It adds that the Retail sector leads in business usage of the service, followed by Hospitality (Hotels, Restaurants and Bars, and Catering), then General Trade, and Distributors.
To capitalise on this growth, Safaricom recently unveiled several innovations including the Lipa Na M-Pesa Business App, which for the first time, provides many of these businesses with detailed reporting tools and a dashboard to track their cash flow.
According to Safaricom, the app has been downloaded by more than 90,000 businesses since its launch two months ago.
Safaricom also launched the Transacting Till that enables small businesses to make payments via Lipa Na M-Pesa, send money to M-Pesa customers and withdraw cash from agents.
Other key innovations through the years include the M-Pesa Daraja Application Programming Interface (APIs) which empowers any business or developer to build their applications on top of M-Pesa.