Yes, you read that right. Safaricom is looking into another revenue source through the Mpesa platform, by providing businesses with the ability to place an advertisement on the Mpesa App.
“In the case of Kenya and Tanzania in time, we will start to get merchants to expose their products into the M-Pesa app through the mini-app capability,” Vodacom chief executive Shameel Joosub.
Vodacom Group is the parent company to Safaricom and is involved in South Africa to implement the Alipay app, a mobile and online payment platform. Alipay is a super app, reaching over a billion users and more than 80 million businesses.
Alipay has built an extremely successful financial service, and Mpesa will benefit greatly from Vodacom’s plan to integrate some of its features on the Mpesa platform. Amongst these features is the advertisement ability for merchants.
“The concept is that of course the more learnings and the more stuff we can develop in South Africa we will then look to agree with Alipay to expand some of those services into the international markets on a case-by-case basis,” Vodacom CEO in a statement first reported by Business Daily.
Safaricom’s Mpesa has close to half a million businesses on the platform that are currently using its Lipa Na Mpesa service. Recently, the Mpesa overdraft facility called Fuliza was reported to have hit 1.7 million daily users, and Safaricom has already applied for it to be expanded to Fuliza for Businesses.
Considering it has amassed huge success with customers, more merchants will be attracted to use Fuliza, boosting their numbers. This will be a ripe market for the advertisement feature, strengthening Mpesa’s position as Safaricom’s biggest earner.
The Mpesa app is a popular one in Kenya, a super app of mass appeal with its many mini-applications and convenient features. It was released for the masses just this year but alongside its sibling application, mySafaricom, they have more than a million downloads each.