UPDATE: Junior accounts will turn into ordinary accounts once minors turn 18.
Parents will also be able to monitor what juniors are doing with M-PESA.
Their M-PESA menu will be simplified.
Lastly, they will not be able to access some services such as betting platforms.
Safaricom has revealed that M-PESA Junior Accounts will go live before the end of November 2022. This information has been announced during the staging of the carrier’s HY Results for 2022/2023. According to the CEO, Safaricom customers under the age of 18 should be able to use M-PESA when that time arrives.
We first heard of the Junior Accounts products back in May 2022. At that time, the CEO Peter Ndegwa had said that the product was being developed. However, it was still subject to regulatory approval, which means that issue has been addressed already.
Safaricom customers who are under the age of 18 can use their parents’/guardians’ documents to register their SIM cards. However, they cannot explicitly use the mobile money product because they are juniors. Nonetheless, Safaricom appears to have figured out a way to let minors access M-PESA.
There are many things that have not been revealed, yet (but will likely be communicated later when the service goes live). One of them is of the kids will have access to loan products such as Fuliza, M-Shwari, and KCB M-PESA. These services are, by design, meant for adults. It will also be a bad idea to rope in children in loan products, which is why it is possible that the said services will not be available to them. We also don’t know the extent of M-PESA services that will be available to them besides sending/receiving funds and payment of bills. All of these concerns, hopefully, will be addressed before the end of the month.
Safaricom has also since added an M-PESA feature meant for minors to the M-PESA App, although the telco has not clarified how it works. Efforts to have that information revealed to us have also been futile. Anyway, it is called M-PESA Go, and 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. Whether this will work alongside M-PESA Junior accounts is something we will have to wait and see.
You will have an update from us once we know more.