M-Pesa Launches New Internet-Free Short-Range Payment Solution

By Peter Pedroncelli Published: October 5, 2017, 6:48 am
M-Pesa 1Tap is a new near field communication payment optionM-Pesa 1Tap is a new near field communication payment option. Photo: M-Pesa

M-Pesa, Safaricom’s highly popular mobile money transfer service, has launched a new payment solution that uses near-field communication to make payments.

Near-Field Communication allows for payments to be made via short-range wireless connectivity to enable communication between devices when they’re touched together, or brought within a few centimeters of each other, without the need for an internet connection.

The new system, which is called M-Pesa 1Tap, allows users to pay for goods from their mobile phones in a single step, rather than multiple steps that were previously required, according to Techweez.

M-Pesa customers will use a wristband, phone sticker or card (which cost around $0.20) to be able to make faster payments using this new technology, before entering a PIN code on their phone in order to complete the transaction.

M-Pesa 1Tap is now available in the Kenyan cities of Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Eldoret and Nyeri, following successful trials held over the last four months in Nakuru where 90,000 customers and 2,000 merchants signed up for the service, NFCWorld reports.

In addition to speed of transaction, accuracy will be improved, as M-Pesa 1Tap will ensure that the correct merchant is paid through near-field communication rather than via a merchant number, which can be incorrectly processed through human error.

To make a payment, a merchant will key in the payment amount into their device, tap the customer tag, and the customer will then enter in their PIN on their phone to validate the payment, according to Finextra.

Near-field communication to transform cashless payments

Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore expressed his expectations regarding the new advancement in cashless payments from the popular Kenyan mobile money platform.

“As a trusted, easy and convenient cashless payment solution for more than 70,000 businesses in Kenya, Lipa Na M-Pesa is ready to advance to become a more seamless solution,” said Collymore, according to ITWebAfrica.

“M-Pesa 1Tap builds on a strong foundation built on 10 years of learning and feedback from both our customers and merchants. We hope it will transform the world of cashless payments,” he added.

M-Pesa was recently upgraded so that enhanced features such as mobile e-commerce payments and the near-field communication capabilities could be added to the mobile money transfer platform, Biznews reports.

New customers are added to the platform consistently, and around 26 million people now use M-Pesa to undertake around 10.5 million transactions per day.

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