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Safaricom Rolls out M-Pesa 1TAP in Nairobi and Other Major Cities

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It has been a minute since Kenya’s giant telco Safaricom hinted that a new payment solution was in the works. Well, the solution is dubbed M-PESA 1Tap and is now available in Nairobi, Mombasa, Eldoret, Kisumu, and Nyeri.

M-Pesa 1Tap was first announced in May this year but Safaricom soon went mum about it. It turns out that the pilot project has been running in Nakuru and that 2,000 merchants have already signed up for the payment service. The company has been collecting feedback from both merchant and customers in order to refine the payment solution before a major rollout.

The solution uses NFC technology and M-Pesa API. Safaricom had promised us an efficient and seamless way to make payments. This seems achievable since the payment process has been shortened significantly. You will no longer have to wait 7 minutes for someone to pay via M-Pesa at the till before your turn.

When announcing the payment solution in May, Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore stated that the company is aware that the simplest M-Pesa transaction takes up to 8 steps but M-Pesa 1Tap will enhance the M-Pesa experience by reducing the number of steps for each transaction.

With the launch of M-Pesa 1Tap, the digital payment sector in Kenya keeps growing considering recent Mvisa expansion, MasterCard’s growing dominance, and JamboPay’s strategic partnerships.

Bob Collymore has said that M-PESA 1TAP increases accuracy and privacy by ensuring that payments are made to the correct merchant. With regard to privacy, a customer will not have to show transaction messages as is the case if one is paying via M-PESA. He added that the objective is to transform digital payment solutions.

How does M-Pesa 1Tap work?

In case you are familiar with how mVisa works, you will find M-Pesa 1Tap easy to use as well. To use the payment solution, customers are required to get a wristband, phone sticker, or card at Safaricom shops.

To get any of these tags, visit any Safaricom retail shop, M-Pesa agent or Safaricom authorized dealer and have the tags connected to your M-Pesa account. After this, all you need to do is to activate it.

The payment process is simple. It starts with the merchant keying in the amount owed on their device (merchants will be issued with M-Pesa 1Tap devices), tapping the customer tag which could be the phone sticker, card, or wristband, and end after the customer enters their PIN on their device to authorize the payment.

The rollout can be seen as part of Safaricom’s plan to capitalize on cashless payments to boost its revenues. The company is already doing quite well as seen in its 2016/2017 financial report but to make it in the highly competitive digital payment segment, innovation is key.

We were almost starting to forget that M-Pesa 1Tap was never a thing but Safaricom won’t let that be. In the end, as long as the service offers convenience and an overall better experience than existing services, we will take it.

M-Pesa 1Tap sounds like a game changer. When speed and simplicity are used in the same line, only good things can happen. Let’s hope this is the case with Safaricom’s new baby.

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