Safaricom Launches M-PESA Service for SMEs

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Safaricom has launched an M-PESA service for small businesses in the informal sector that includes a wide portfolio of Boda Boda operators, food vendors among other  Jua Kali sector players.

The newly launched M-PESA service will allow the latter to separate business and personal funds on MPESA with a new feature on the money transfer service.

Dubbed Pochi la Biashara, the feature allows traders who do not have the LIPA NA MPESA option to receive money from clients into a separate wallet.

“Business owners will be able to separate their business funds and personal funds allowing them to use business transactions to make better business decisions,” said Safaricom.

Similar to the LIPA NA MPESA option, the new feature allows customers to make payments directly to the business Pochi la Biashara. Customers will use USSD Code *334# from their M-PESA line, select LIPA NA M-PESA and then Select Pochi la Biashara, and complete the transaction.

According to Safaricom, funds sent to the separate wallet will not be deducted by Fuliza. Moreover, business owners will access account statements and can opt-in and out of the service at will.

Safaricom strategy for the year is to increase penetration in mobile money services across the country to shift to cashless payments as one of the prevention measures against the deadly Covi-19.

The latest data from CAK indicates that as of June 30, 2020, active mobile subscribers stood at 30.5 million with active mobile money agents at 223,184.

M-PESA continues to dominate the mobile money service with a market share of 98.9 percent. The number of transactions in quarter three of 2020 has significantly increased with the introduction of cashless payment to curb the spread of the Covid-19.

In quarter three of 2019, M-PESA customer to business transactions was valued at Kshs 446 billion with a person to person transfers at Kshs 721.9 billion.

Business to business transfers had a higher share almost hitting a trillion mark at Kshs 994.6 billion. This was followed by Safaricom’s move to allow merchants like petrol stations, supermarkets, and bars to tap cash paid into their accounts for goods and services provided to customers.

Safaricom is looking to enter the Ethiopian market to expand its continental presence.

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Anthony Kiratu is the Founder of Finsolutions. He is a financial analyst with over 5 years experience in research, investment advisory, valuation and financial modelling. Anthony is a member of the Institute of Certified Investment and Financial Analysts and Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya. He is passionate about development of African Capital Markets through training of investors and dissemination of information for sound financial and investment decision making process. He is also a part-time lecturer in the Certified Investment and Financial Analyst course in the subjects of International Finance, Portfolio Management, Equity Investment Analysis, and Fixed Income Securities. Email: anthony@finsolutions.co.ke Contact: +254 780216631

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