Safaricom on Wednesday launched an app that will assist in tracking mobile money transactions on an easy to use user interface for Mpesa. The app called M-Ledger is not new, it has been in use for some time now and before it was pulled down in favour of the new app, it had tens of thousands of downloads. M-ledger is the work of Dynamic Data Systems, a Kenyan startup that was incubated and graduated in the Safaricom Academy.
The app went live in the store for Android but Safaricom has since acquired Intellectual Property for the app and rebranded it to be a Safaricom app after realizing the immense potential the app presents. The app is able to give reconciled reports in Excel and app UI for Android users, something that was quite difficult for the USSD menu that Mpesa is operated on.
The app is able to fetch directly from Mpesa servers, a 6 month statement of reports of Mpesa transactions. The app goes further to expand the report to give names and details of the people you interact with, even goes as far as reporting on who you send most money to, how much you have transacted, both sent and received money in a year, and to whom.
The app also makes easy the task of finding companies and linking them to their respective paybill numbers, a task that is currently a maze in the USSD menu. You know, USSD won’t give you predictions if you aren’t sure about the company name you are searching for. The app will also allow you to export your data to excel format for better processing, reporting and reconciliation.
This in the long run makes a huge leap for Safaricom’s mobile money pay service “Lipa Na Mpesa” as it makes the user more in control of the transactions. You can use them in your company reports if you needed reconciling petty cash, or even for small traders who may have made payments for supplies using mobile money. Safaricom clearly doesn’t want to move Mpesa out of USSD, reason, according to them being security but this app comes to solve the problem of reporting transactions.
Usually mobile money is tied to your SIM card and that’s the ultimate authentication factor, but Safaricom will require an email attached to your account. Nzioka Waita, Safaricom’s Director of Corporate Affairs says that this is required to back up your data to cloud and also move the password reset process to the user as opposed to requiring to call customer service. This brings in an interesting dynamic; Safaricom Cloud.
Does this create a gateway for Safaricom to sign up all Mpesa users who use the app to the Safaricom cloud indirectly? That’s a very big possibility, Safaricom cloud is not known to have that huge scale that other services by the telco has had and just like email was Google’s way of getting users into cloud and Office the way of Microsoft to get the same result, Safaricom could finally have realized their watershed moment.