Safaricom mobile payments up 92%

Cash handled on Safaricom’s mobile payment platform rose 92 per cent partly driven by increased preference for cashless transactions and reduced person-to-person charges.

Safaricom reported that mobile payments and betting amounted to Sh6.53 trillion in the financial year ended March compared to Sh3.93 trillion the previous year.

Customer- to-Business(C2B) payment recorded the highest amount at Sh3.2trillion, followed by Business- to-Customer(B2C) at Sh2.2trillion. Lipa na M-Pesa, a platform that enables merchants to transact using a till number to collect payments from customers, accounted for Sh970.2billion while Betting accounted for Sh136.9 billion. Business to Business(B2B) recorded the least amount at Sh86.6 billion.

C2B and B2C are mainly bank transfers while B2B is for transactions between businesses. These together with Lipa Na M-Pesa and revenue from betting transactions form the payments channels in the M-Pesa ecosystem.

The use of mobile money has grown sharply since March last year, when incentives such as removal of mobile-bank account transfer fees and charges on transactions below Sh1,000 were introduced in a bid to discourage the use of hard cash that was said to spread Covid-19 through contact.

The Central Bank also doubled the daily transaction limits to Sh140,000 and increased the amount that can be held in a mobile wallet to Sh300,000, allowing for larger ticket transactions to go mobile.

Safaricom moved ahead to cut its M-Pesa transaction fees by up to 45 per cent for low value transactions in order to maintain the volumes gained during the waiver period.

In 2021, M-Pesa dislodged voice to record the highest revenue of Sh82.6 billion, compared to Sh82.55 billion posted by voice.