Safaricom has started trials for a PIN-based, NFC-based ‘Tap-and-Go’ card, which will allow for seamless integration with an existing M-PESA account.
The ‘Lipa Na M-PESA’ card is currently undergoing a pilot phase amongst Safaricom staff with plans to extend the service to university students, allowing users to make payments at select merchants.
“As the M-PESA ecosystem continues to expand, we continue to test the boundaries of the service to identify how we can continue to extend the gains of the platform to an increasing number of customers and businesses,” said Bob Collymore, CEO, Safaricom.
With eight out of ten payments in Kenya still cash-based, the opportunity for continued growth for alternative payment solutions continues to evolve.
Shifting consumer trends have seen services like debit cards and Lipa Na M-PESA thrive as consumers embrace more efficient, cashless means of paying for goods and services.
By March 2016, over Sh20 billion in payments had been made on the Lipa Na M-PESA platform, with more than 44,000 merchants accepting the service, an increase of 74% from the previous year.
The card under pilot meets all current banking security standards and has received necessary approvals from relevant regulators.