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Safaricom to increase Lipa na M-Pesa usage by 30%

By , freelance writer for ITWebAfrica.
Kenya , 17 Sep 2015

Safaricom to increase Lipa na M-Pesa usage by 30%

Kenya's dominant operator Safaricom has announced plans to increase usage of the Lipa na M-Pesa service by 30% this financial year, as the company drives the growth of the cashless transaction space.

The Lipa Na M-Pesa service was launched in 2013 to enable M-Pesa customers to pay for their bills at various commercial outlets via mobile money.

The service accounts for KES13 billion (US$122,978,180) in annual transaction value; with more than 49,000 active tills, and nearly 1 million customers using Lipa Na M-Pesa every day.

The company has now announced plans to grow this usage by a further 30%; through targeted incentive-based campaigns, and recruiting new merchants - among them supermarkets and petrol stations - with a view to entrenching Lipa Na M-Pesa as the primary mode for making payments across the country.

In April this year, Safaricom also completed a network upgrade included moving the M-Pesa servers from Europe to Kenya, in a bid to scale up the network's capacity.

"Statistics released last week by the Central Bank of Kenya showed that between January and June this year, transactions valued at an average of KES7.29 billion (US$68,962,379) were done through mobile phones daily- which is a 17.77 percent increase compared to last year's daily average of KES6.19 billion (US$58,556,533)," said Rita Okuthe, General Manager of Safaricom Business.

"These impressive statistics coupled by the new and more robust M-PESA technology platform launched in April, and other recent developments that have enabled the seamless transfer of funds from bank accounts to mobile are among the advances that will grow the cashless transaction space in Kenya."

The expansion drive has kicked off with the onboarding of supermarket chain Naivas, with customers to stand the chance to win prizes weekly when paying in store with Lipa na M-Pesa.

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