Allegations That Safaricom Stole M-PESA 1Tap Idea to Receive Ruling Tomorrow

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Who remembers M-PESA 1Tap? The product was launched in 2017 and was presented as a potential solution for merchants who use Lipa na M-PESA for payments. The card was piloted in 2016 and was ready in 2017. At launch, it was packaged in NFC-powered cards, a band, and a small module that could be attached to wallets or smartphones. Many hoped that this would be the future of Lipa Na M-PESA, but the dream was not actualized. Heck, the carrier rolled out almost half a million POS systems that it hoped could be complemented by the card.

READ MORE: Safaricom Conducting Pilot for Lipa na M-Pesa Payments Card

The other side of the story is that Safaricom did not actually pioneer the technology. This follows accusations that were made by a Twitter user nearly four years ago.


According to the user, Safaricom launched the product using ideas/knowledge that was bound by a non-disclosure agreement. The carrier did not respond to the allegations, and the matter appeared to have subsided over the years.

READ MORE: Safaricom Set to Launch Lipa Na M-Pesa Card as Rumours of a Stand-alone Payments Service Resurface

As of today, it has emerged that the people who claim to be behind the idea did actually seek the help of the Kenya court system. The Twitter user has since published a photo of the case’s title, which reveals that the matter will receive judgment on Thursday 17, June, at the Milimani High Court.

The case is being presided by Hon. Lady justice Grace Nzioka.

READ MORE: M-PESA 1 TAP UNVEILED BY SAFARICOM

For those who still want to know more about 1Tap, the plan was to provide merchants with point-of-sale terminals that were NFC enabled, and where users could complete the transactions. The Lipa na M-Pesa card was also Chip and Pin enabled, a measure adopted to improve the security of payments solution.

The solution has since gone under, with the former CEO the late Bob Collymore citing that it was a wrong idea to begin with, alongside the now bare-bones and nearly-abandoned Masoko.


READ MORE: WHAT HAPPENED TO M-PESA 1TAP?

We will update you about the case as soon as we get more information.


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Kenn Abuya is a friend of technology, with bias in enterprise and mobile tech. Share your thoughts, tips and hate mail at [email protected]