We all know the drill; you go into the supermarket, pick up your goods and most of the time, pay them via M-PESA. This is followed by the cashier waiting for you to shout out your number even after knowing you’ve paid because he’s seen the message on your phone. This is not only a tad bit annoying but also very insecure considering the amount of information you can get from someone’s phone number, but according to Safaricom, this will end soon.
Safaricom has today announced the deployment of faster and more private cashless payments at over 2,500 Lipa Na M-PESA merchants. The move is set to benefit more than 21 million monthly active M-PESA customers with faster transactions and increased privacy by eliminating the need to show transaction confirmation messages.
“Millions of customers and thousands of merchants increasingly prefer Lipa Na M-PESA when it comes to payments. Our enhanced integration of Lipa Na M-PESA for the more than 2,500 merchants will increase the speed and accuracy at which they process cashless payments while also benefiting our customers with increased privacy and accuracy when paying,” said Sitoyo Lopokoiyit, Chief Financial Services Officer, Safaricom.
The upgrade targets 2,500 merchants with more than one Lipa Na M-PESA payment point by issuing each cashier with distinct till number.
This is a change from the previous situation where each shop had a single till. As part of the process, Safaricom and the merchants also re-integrated the till numbers under the new Daraja M-PESA Application Programming Interfaces, which allow for deeper integration.
This now means that when a cashier selects M-PESA as a mode of payment, the merchant system will reconcile the amount to the latest Lipa Na M-PESA payment received, eliminating the need for the customer to give their mobile phone number or show a payment confirmation message.
In the last 18 months, Safaricom has made a number of moves as it seeks to grow the number of payments further. In March 2017, Safaricom slashed Lipa Na M-PESA merchant fees to a maximum of 0.5 per cent of the transaction value and rolled out payments on the Safaricom App with a goal of increasing the accuracy of transactions and shortening the payment process.
Safaricom has also introduced Tap-To-Pay and Scan-To-Pay technology for payments which both shorten the process of making a payment and provide different use cases where M-PESA can be used for payments, such as in parking.