Kenya: Safaricom's Lipa Na M-Pesa Takes Lead in Cashless Transactions

By Lilian Mutegi

Safaricom's Lipa Na M-PESA has overtaken all other means of cashless transactions and emerged as the most preferred method of making payments without money among customers in Kenya.

According to a study conducted by McKinsey and Company, nine out of ten payments are still made in cash. However, growing evidence reveals that cashless services like Safaricom's Lipa na M-PESA have overtaken the volume of transactions registered through debit and credit cards as well as other mobile money propositions.

With over 32,000 active merchants and average transactions of Kshs 1,000 and above on the service, there has been a remarkable increase in the volume of transactions through Lipa Na M-PESA.

"It is not lost on us that 94 per cent of transactions in Kenya are in cash and we feel that there is an immense opportunity for the number of cashless transactions to grow. We have already made investments in the public transport sector and in government transactions, which we believe are the next growth frontiers for Lipa Na M-PESA," said Betty Mwangi, GM, Financial Services, Safaricom.

Safaricom has launched an eight-week consumer and merchant promotion to encourage the use of M-PESA for retail transactions, as it seeks to grow usage of the revolutionary mobile money service and entrench a CashLite culture in the country.


Mwangi explained, "A majority of our over 19.5 million registered M-PESA customers already use the service to make Person-to-Person transactions. With this initiative we aim at encouraging them to also enjoy the additional benefits and convenience derived from additional value added services available on M-PESA.

During this promotion, Safaricom will reward one customer each week with a fully furnished house valued at Kshs 12 million. Consumers will also win Kshs 32 million in cash and 16 million in airtime.

Lipa Na M-PESA merchants also stand a chance to win a pick-up vehicle every two weeks. In addition, merchants will win Kshs 40 million in cash.

To qualify for the promotion, customers will need to use Lipa Na M-PESA to pay for goods and services, move money between their mobile phones and their banks and/or SACCO's, or take M-Shwari loans during the two months of the promotion.