Leading telecommunications service provider Safaricom has unveiled a new M-PESA App set to become a game changer in the country’s fintech sector.
The new App is part of the company’s new strategy to transform M-PESA into a digital lifestyle platform accessible to users anywhere in the globe regardless of the type of their smartphone device.
Users on the new M-PESA App currently available on both the Google Play Store and Apple IOS Store will have access to new features and offerings that go beyond traditional telecommunication services.
This includes an analytics feature that allows users to generate a summary of their spending by time and category. The data is presented in a summary graph on the home page and users can also access past transactions going back several months.
The new M-PESA App further consolidates all of Safaricom services, including buy data, bill manager and M-PESA Global under one location. This allows users the convenience of conducting several functions without leaving the ecosystem.
This is further strengthened by the integration of frequently-used services from third-party providers into the App. Users can make payments for county services, transport, banks, utilities, retailers and restaurants that have dedicated widgets on the App.
It also supports sending money to more than one recipient in one transaction, a search function across the entire address book and a user-generated list of favourite people to send money. Users will be able to add a text description or gif description of the reason they are sending the money.
In addition to this, users will be able scan QR codes to initiate paybill, buy goods, send money and withdraw transactions. The App supports scanning of both static and dynamic QR codes and also allows users to generate and share their own QR codes to allow them to receive payments from other users. In addition to this, users will also be able to use the app without an active Wi-Fi and data connection and even when data is turned off.
The new App is expected to increase M-PESA global’ s market reach and presence among users that increasingly access more of their social, work and entertainment needs through the numerous Apps available in the ecosystem.
This position was underscored by CEO Peter Ndegwa during the company’s last investor briefing when he outlined how the shift into the new phase of growth for M-PESA will be executed over the next five years.
“We are broadening our financial services portfolio, evolving M-PESA into a broader financial platform that becomes a lifestyle choice especially for our SMEs and MSMEs with products around insurance, wealth and savings among other provisions,” said Mr Peter Ndegwa.
The upgrade also follows lessons gleaned from Safaricom’s move to zero-rate fees for transactions less than Sh1,000 as part of the company’s intervention to cushion users from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the pandemic, more users resorted to accessing M-PESA services through the app or USSD, with an uptick recorded in transactions below Sh1,000 as well as banking and payment service requests made by both customers and businesses.
In addition to the business to customer functionality, the company is also enhancing the business to business and business to merchant offerings of the new App that will be rolled out in subsequent upgrades.
Currently, the company is reaching out to fintech that supports products and services to businesses to publish their apps within the M-Pesa Business app to enhance the third-party suite of services.
At the same time, Safaricom has engaged the highest grade of digital security offering to secure users’ data within the App ecosystem. In addition to the M-PESA PIN, users have an added layer of security provided through security questions or a secret code that immediately prompts the users whenever a suspicious login attempt is made.
The App also prompts users to confirm the transaction before inputting their pin through the Hakikisha service that reduces reversals? of transactions and the inconvenience associated with it.
At a simple click, users on the new M-PESA App will also have access to a PDF statement they can generate at any time and free of charge that will go a long way in assisting in personal finance management.