Tech & Business

Safaricom expands M-pesa card service to five more towns

Among entities which have taken up the service at some of their outlets include Shell, Naivas, Choppies, Total, KenolKobil, Oilibya and QuickMart.

Telecommunication Company Safaricom has launched its M-Pesa 1Tap payment card, wristband and stickers in five more towns, stepping up competition with banks for cashless payments.

The services are now available in Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Eldoret and Nyeri.

This is after a four-month successful trial in Nakuru unveiled in May this year.

Under M-Pesa 1Tap, customers have the option of using a card, a wristband or a sticker affixed to their phones to make payments. The three tags will be integrated to the customers’ M-Pesa accounts.

Users will make payments by tapping any of the tags to retail point-of-sale and in-putting their M-Pesa PIN numbers on their phones following a real-time pop-up prompt.

Safaricom says M-Pesa 1Tap is ultimately intended to increase the efficiency of cashless transactions at retail outlets.

“This cuts down the steps involved from more than eight steps using the M-Pesa tool on SIM cards to just one step for the customer,” the firm said in a statement.

At least 2,000 merchants have taken up the M-Pesa 1Tap service in Nakuru and more than 90,000 customers have used it, the telco said.

Among entities which have taken up the service at some of their outlets include Shell, Naivas, Choppies, Total, KenolKobil, Oilibya and QuickMart.

Mobile cashless payments have increasingly grown popular in Kenya, with the Central Bank of Kenya data showing that they accounted for 72.8 per cent of cashless payments by value and 88 per cent by number of cashless transactions in July 2017.

By Martin Mwita

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