On August 1, Safaricom announced that it was going to take a more elementary and unchallenging approach for businesses to integrate M-PESA into their services to boost growth. Businesses will now benefit from this pronouncement because the telco has released updated and capable M-PESA Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) portal for them.
The portal is christened “Daraja” and in addition to its effortless approach for businesses to integrate services with M-PESA, Daraja aims to reduce the number of days (usually takes up to two months) to perform the linking process.
The portal is packed with multiple APIs, including B2B and B2C models that allow M-PESA transactions from one company to another and from a company to a client respectively, as well as a reversal API to reverse transactions. Others include options for transaction status, account balance and Lipa Na M-PESA Online.
“M-PESA provides a unique platform that enables thousands of businesses to leverage its capabilities to drive their growth. The simplified onboarding process will enable both small and large businesses to integrate to M-PESA as a payment platform for their businesses with ease,” said Bob Collymore, CEO Safaricom.
Interested developers can now use the simplified Daraja portal to integrate payment options on apps and sites to grow their business.
It is clear that Safaricom wants to capitalize on the ever-growing numbers of business transactions, and M-PESA payment solutions should help boost the way people seamlessly transact using mobile gateways.
Where necessary, small businesses can integrate loyalty and incentive programs through M-PESA applications. Since all the information of customers is stored in the app or site, the business can track purchase patterns of customers from mobile devices.
There are cases where businesses are situated in remote sites and customers are forced to transact using cash. A simplified M-PESA payment gateway comes in handy to boost sales and by extension, customer base.
What’s more, the availability of the aforementioned M-PESA APIs can help a business automate how clients and potential customers perceive a given product or service. By tracking an inventory progress, a business stands a good chance to formulate ways of serving customers better. In other words, businesses that have not integrated M-PESA APIs before owing to their initial complexity can now take advantage of Daraja to capture payment data, which can be used to develop their services. This is the kind of information that any business should have at their fingertips because it helps them to strategize and meet customer demands, in addition to pinpointing areas that are profitable and focus on those parts.
Safaricom has a track record of offering robust services, which is highly probable that Daraja will be critical for businesses to transact quicker M-PESA payment options without errors.
While Daraja can be plugged into apps, websites and point of service (POS) terminals, it goes without saying that most payments are made via mobile phones. For this reason, developers and businesses must take note of mobile capabilities that cover the customer lifecycle – including searching for a given product, combing the internet for additional information and deciding if a product is worth purchasing. It is a process that is done via phones, which is why everything should be optimized for mobile, else the process will be plagued by issues. Simply put, a marketing strategy, be it on mobile or any other platform should offer a seamless experience if solutions such as Daraja are to be exploited fully.
It has not been revealed whether the new APIs will simplify the checkout process. The telco did launch M-PESA 1 Tap a few months ago, which has potential to rid supermarkets and other payment terminals of slow-moving queues when using the Lipa Na M-PESA solution. In principle, it is important that Daraja handles quick services because no business wants to turn customers away from making purchases because of delays.
There are several businesses that use M-PESA APIs or other mobile-based payment solutions, but have made little effort to inform their customer base of these forms of payment. It is here that campaigns to promote the service are paramount because they explain to customers how undemanding it is to use the features based on simplicity, speed, safety and convenience.
To sum it up, Daraja is a welcome addition for business because it is an open secret that M-PESA and its associated services has virtually helped our lives, and mobile payments are the future based on how easy it is to pay for stuff. It is these businesses that have made finding of products for purchase and price comparison easy, a feat that should be followed by an equally facile step and that is payment.