Charging those paying via Lipa na MPESA is a set back to cashless payment

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Fuel dealers have 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. The additional amount to be paid is cost shared between the consumer and fuel dealer who previously paid one per cent on the value of every payment.

According to the business daily, Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore said the additional payment is limited to some petrol stations putting it clear Lipa na Mpesa is still free to end users even as some petrol stations choose to charge customers 0.5 per cent of the payment value.

In a case a customer buys 3,000 worth of fuel, the customer will have to pay Ksh15 more to take care of the 0.5 per cent additional fee. Comparing the new charges to bank charges employed on traders, Lipa na M-Pesa is currently the cheapest cashless payment option with banks charging between three and five per cent commission on credit and debit card swipes made by customers.

Safaricom is with this regard running advertisements to warn of the additional charges customers might attract in some of the petrol stations. Lipa na M-Pesa has overtime become a major payment platform for businesses making it easier for business owners and customers.

The cashless system now has business owners covered without having to worry about fake currency. Lipa Na Mpesa has also opened up better and bigger online shopping channels across the country where customers can pay using the system either on delivery or prior, payment reflecting real time on both ends.

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Besides businesses in Kenya transiting to the cashless form of payment, public transport is still expected to cross over even after missing the deadline one year ago. The government project seems to be a flop even after extending the deadline a couple of times

Among aims to launch the system was to curb corruption in public transport as well as have the public enjoy convenient and efficient payment services which will regulate fares unlike the current situation with uncalled for hikes.

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