Why the M-Pesa Super App is the next big thing

M-Pesa interface. Customers could soon enjoy reduced complexity and shorter steps. [File, Standard]

Recently, we hosted more than 100 current and potential partners to our second M-Pesa Super App Partners' Forum.

There was a lot to celebrate, starting with the M-Pesa Super App achieving a three-million monthly active customers milestone.

This achievement follows exceptional performance recorded in our last financial year where more than 489 million transactions worth Sh1.3 trillion were transacted through the Super App. In addition, we have more than 287,000 businesses using the M-Pesa Business Super App, which specifically provides solutions and tools for businesses on Lipa Na M-Pesa.

In our last financial year, business owners made more than 52 million transactions worth more than Sh217 billion through the Business Super App.

Our decision to launch two M-Pesa Super Apps goes back more than three years, just before the pandemic. M-Pesa's phenomenal success has been achieved on the back of partnerships. In line with our purpose to transform lives, we have always strived to connect people to each other and to opportunities.

Looking at the trends then, 4G and 3G mobile broadband was nearing universal reach across the continent as several countries achieved 90 per cent population coverage.

On the back of this trend, smartphone penetration was growing rapidly reaching 30 per cent to 50 per cent of population coverage across different markets. These two trends were resulting in customers leading increasingly digital lives where they do business, shop, learn and seek entertainment online.

It, therefore, became apparent that the customer of the next two decades would be very different, and there would be a need for financial service providers to develop solutions that fit their increasingly digital lifestyles.

A super app approach enabled us to go beyond simply providing M-Pesa through a digital channel and to build on the strength of our partnerships by empowering customers to achieve more from our partners while better linking businesses to customers.

The M-Pesa Super App empowers a customer to meet their daily needs. They can book a digital taxi to work, purchase a Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) ticket or an air ticket, book a movie ticket and manage their National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF).

Businesses can also manage their cash flow and track business performance through the M-Pesa Business App.

-The writer is the Chief Financial Services Officer, Safaricom