Safaricom (NSE: SCOM) has today announced a Lipa Na M-PESA milestone with the number of businesses on the service crossing 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. 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.
“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,” said Peter Ndegwa, CEO, Safaricom.
Recent months have seen 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.
Safaricom has made it easier for businesses to receive payments through Lipa Na M-PESA through a dedicated self-service poral at m-pesaforbusiness.co.ke .
The Retail sector leads in business usage of the service, followed by Hospitality (Hotels, Restaurants and Bars, and Catering), then General Trade, and Distributors.
With a growing number of small businesses on the service, Safaricom has recently unveiled several innovations that focus on them. These include 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. The App has been downloaded by more than 90,000 businesses since its launch two months ago.
Safaricom also launched the Transacting Till where small businesses on Lipa Na M-PESA can make payments through 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.
In March 2007, Safaricom marked five years of the service by permanently slashing Lipa Na M-PESA Tariffs to 0.5% of the transaction value to a maximum of KES 200 per transaction. As part of measures to assist businesses better cope with the COVID-19 Pandemic, Safaricom has waived all merchant transaction fees for all Lipa Na M-PESA transactions of KES 1,000 and below.