Sometime this year, Safaricom announced that it was planning to release M-PESA Junior Accounts for minors. This development has not occurred, and the reason is that there are some regulatory issues that need to be addressed before the CBK can give the telco a nod for the launch.
Junior accounts make sense for the telco because it has been exploring ways in which it can expand the use cases of the mobile money product. Ever since it was launched in 2007, M-PESA has evolved, and besides it being one of Kenya’s most known services, it has been supplemented by additional services that revolve around payments. However, the carrier has since said that it wants to go beyond payments, which means that we will be seeing additional features and services being plugged into M-PESA in the coming days.
It should also be remembered that Safaricom has a bunch of apps that are associated with M-PESA. They include the M-PESA app, the M-PESA Business app for merchants, and mySafaricom. The M-PESA app is one of the most popular apps for the telco and in Kenya in general, bearing in mind that it has been downloaded more than 8 million times. It has great features, such as biometric authentication for payments, mini apps, access to statements and so much more.
From time to time, the M-PESA app also receives key updates. One such update has arrived here today, and it mainly affects minors. It is called M-PESA Go. It allows minors to buy goods and services, pay bills and buy airtime/data on M-PESA, but at the supervision of their parents/guardians. We are in the process of working out how it will work.
M-PESA Go, the service for juniors on M-PESA between the ages of 11 and 18, allowing them to buy goods and services, pay for bills and buy airtime and data on M-PESA with supervision from their parents or guardians.
We are not sure of this will make way for the official launch of M-PESA Junior accounts, so, fingers crossed.