Safaric*m launches ‘Super App’, Kenyans troop in it interfering with MPESA transactions

By , K24 Digital
On Wed, 23 Jun, 2021 17:13 | 3 mins read
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M-pesa logo. PHOTO/Safaricom website

Innovative small and medium enterprises SMEs have an opportunity to tap into Safaricom’s 25 million-plus mobile money database after the company launched its MPesa Super App yesterday.

But seems Kenyans are already downloading the upgraded app in large numbers to an extent that normal Mpesa operations have been affected, K24 Digital has established.

For the better part of today (June 23), many Kenyans have been trying to make transactions to no avail.

However, you can make transactions using Safaricom app.

The MPesa Super App gives the SMEs a leeway to create their own mini Apps within the popular MPesa money ecosystem, through which millions of Kenyans transact their businesses daily.

It also adds to a raft of innovations the giant telco has been making on the MPesa App, to improve user experience, of which Mpesa Africa chief executive Sitoyo Lopokoiyit said the company spends up to Sh4 billion annually.

“We spend between Sh3 billion and Sh4 billion every year on MPesa to ensure the system is a secure, stable and scalable system since it has an impact on flow of money,” said Lopokoiyot.

In addition to the Mpesa Super App, the company also launched the Mpesa for Business App, with an “Offline Mode” and mini Apps. The Offline mode” will enable customers complete transactions even without data bundles or when totally offline, as well as send and receive money and equally make payments.

In his virtual presentation, Peter Ndegwa, the Safaricom chief executive said the mini Apps will enable customers and businesses to complete day-to-day and occasional tasks within the Mpesa Super App and Mpesa for Business App, including deliveries, ticket booking, shopping, licences applications, insurance and much more from hundreds of businesses, government agencies, utilities and other firms.

Customers can access the mini Apps through the “Discover” option on the App while merchants on Lipa Na Mpesa can do so through the “Hub” option on the Mpesa for Business App.

“Smartphones have increasingly become popular as they connect customers to more opportunities empowering them to achieve more at work, in their business, when learning and even for entertainment. In response, we have designed the Mpesa Super App to enhance our customers’ experience every time they use the service, providing them with a simple, fun, secure and convenient digital solution,” said Ndegwa.

Safaricom keen interest in SMEs saw the company in June last year launched its Lipa Na Mpesa business smartphone app aimed at merchants, after partnering with Google to raise smartphone penetration in Kenya by letting people pay them off in instalments of Sh20 ($0.20) a day.

The telco provides over 94 per cent of Kenya’s population with 3G coverage, over 77 per cent of the population with 4G coverage, while its 2G coverage reaches 96 per cent of Kenyans.

Yesterday, Lopokoiyit said the first services available on mini Apps include Madaraka Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) ticketing, long-distance bus booking with BuuPass, event tickets on Mtickets, shopping gift vouchers on GiftPesa Vouchers, insurance services on eBima, and gas delivery from Pro-Gas.

Other features provided by the Mpesa Super App include fingerprint and face unlock and transaction authentication, detailed usage statements, in addition to their Mpesa personal identification numbers (PINs).

Customers can also make multiple transactions to different recipients but only need to enter their PIN or authentication once, and also request “Send Money” from a sender who will only need to confirm the transaction by keying their PIN.

The Mpesa Super App has equally been designed to provide customers with a variety of convenient options when sending and receiving money including the addition of Pochi La Biashara and Mpesa Global options. With Mpesa Global customers can send money to other mobile phone customers around East Africa, and to other countries directly into bank accounts, Western Union, or link and transact through PayPal.

Lopokoiyit said Safaricom will award all customers who book SGR tickets on the Madaraka Express mini App with 10 per cent of the value back into their Mpesa accounts. Those who download the Mpesa Super App for the first time will get 500 MB of free Safaricom data. In addition, every 10th customer to download the app for the first time over the next three days will get Sh500 into their Mpesa account.

More than 1.3 million customers have downloaded the Mpesa Super App and an additional 100,000 businesses have downloaded the Mpesa for Business App since its introduction in December and June 2020.

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