On May 10, 2017, Safaricom announced that they had been working on a new payments solution that would make it easier and seamless for customers to use Lipa na M-Pesa. The solution, dubbed M-Pesa 1Tap, would take advantage of NFC technology and the new M-Pesa API and cut down the process of paying with M-Pesa from the initial eight steps to just two steps.
M-Pesa 1Tap was first introduced in Nakuru, where Safaricom says it has more than 90,000 customers and 2,000 merchants signed up for the service. Slow rollout to major towns and cities, accompanied by testimonials of merchants refusing to accept M-Pesa 1Tap despite being a registered merchant, led us to believe that the service was not doing so well. Safaricom proved us wrong.
As from today, M-Pesa 1Tap will also be available in Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Eldoret and Nyeri. At the moment, M-Pesa customers can only use the service at Naivas supermarkets, Choppies supermarkets, QuickMart supermarket, Shell, Kenol/Kobil, OiLibya, Total petrol stations and KFC outlets. Safaricom promises that other retailer and merchants will progressively accept the service.
To enjoy M-Pesa 1Tap, customers will be required to get either the wristband, phone sticker or card at Safaricom shops for a small fee of Ksh.20, with “more convenient” M-Pesa 1Tap solutions set to be rolled out in the future.
Making a payment will be as simple as a merchant keying in the payment amount into their device, tapping the customer tag and then the customer will key in their PIN on their phone to validate the payment.
“M-Pesa 1Tap increases the accuracy and privacy of Lipa Na M-Pesa by ensuring that payments are delivered to a matching merchant,” says Safaricom. Bob Collymore, the company’s CEO, said that the solution has been in incubation since 2012 and that he hopes it will transform the world of cashless payments.
Finally, we can say bye bye to waiting five minutes in the queue for someone to pay via M-Pesa at the till.