Safaricom has finally rolled the curtains on its new product, M-Pesa 1 Tap. The solution, as its name suggests, is a Tap and Go payment method that should enhance the monetary settlement of services and products for M-Pesa customers.
Payments are done using Card, Wrist Band and Near Field Communication (NFC) Badge. The enhancement of customer experience has been motivated by the need to roll out applicable solutions to complement its array of services that are M-Pesa based, including, M-Shwari, its ever-improving mySafaricom App and Lipa Na M-Pesa.
The pilot for this service has been ongoing for some time, having started as an internal program where 1500 of Safaricom employees participated by paying for meals at the telco’s café using an NFC-enabled Card. Deductions are made from M-Pesa accounts after tapping the card at checkout terminals.
Further tests have been underway, with the rolling of 500,000 Point of Sale (POS) system and merchant recruitment that is still taking place. Nakuru was the first town that will enjoy the goodies of M-Pesa 1 Tap, and users benefit by paying for good and services at outlets with POS systems in a seamless manner that is devoid of USSDs and navigating through menus. So far, M-Pesa 1 Tap already has over 13,000 customers who were signed up within a week in Nakuru.
Moreover, M-Pesa 1 Tap will ensure merchants at the grassroots are paid via Lipa na Mpesa.
Payment has been simplified because you will only need to have a Card or the NFC sticker on your phone or the Wrist Band. It is also allowed to have all of these options, just in case but any choice will be fine. Then, the Tap and Go is completed by tapping on the POS machine, after which you will be prompted to enter your M-Pesa PIN (not service PIN) on your phone to complete the payment.
The Point of Sale devices are the size of a card physically, but thick like a phone and can be fitted with a lanyard to hang around the neck. This would make it easier for mobile merchants to move around with. It is also as dumb as they come with a very specific function, dumb phone like interface, meaning it keeps charge for a week.
Signing up on M-Pesa 1 Tap is free, however the service is only available in Nakuru for now.