Safaricom has partnered with KCB, Equity bank, Jamii Bora, Chase Bank, Cooperative Bank, Diamond Trust Bank, UBA and Consolidated Bank to enable businesses which use Lipa Na M-PESA to transfer funds from their Lipa Na M-PESA tills to their bank accounts any day of the week.
“This is a progressive move in our pursuit to create a Cash Lite financial ecosystem. It not only reduces the inherent risks associated with cash handling, but also ensures Merchants always have access to working capital which will definitely improve their business efficiency,” said Bob Collymore, Chief Executive Officer, Safaricom.
Over the last three years, tremendous progress has been registered in the bank settlement process, making it possible for Merchants to access funds within the same day. This was however subject to bank’s operating hours and working days. These partnerships therefore aim to reduce the time to a minute or less, any day, any time.” He added.
Currently we have ten banks that offer instant bank settlement for merchants. However, Standard Chartered and NIC Bank started offering the service, which ensures the availability of cash or e-flat around the clock, in July. Now, Lipa Na M-PESA Merchants can move between Kshs. 50 and Kshs. 50 million from their Lipa Na M-PESA tills to their banks, with no limitation on the number of transactions that they can make within a day.
Collymore said, “One of the objectives we set out to achieve with M-PESA is to grow the cashless and cash lite economy, by providing end-to-end solutions that cater for the entire ecosystem starting with the customer, to the business owner and their suppliers. This is a significant step in this direction.” The partnerships complement other initiatives introduced over the recent months to deepen financial inclusion and expand the M-PESA ecosystem by providing relevant products and services to our customers.
The cashless system in the country is growing at a slow rate and it will take time for Kenyans to adopt. However, the fact that Safaricom has over 21million customers and over 85,000 Agent outlets countrywide, brings cashless dream closer to reality. However, the Lipa na Mpesa is not 100 percent rosy. Four months ago fuel dealers passed a regulation for Safaricom customers using Lipa na M-pesa for fuel to pay a 0.5 per cent commission on the value of each payment. Such an act is a set back and can easily ruin the cashless system being built by service providers in the country.