The move is set to benefit more than 21 million monthly active M-Pesa customers with faster transactions and increased privacy by eliminating the need to show transaction confirmation messages.
“Millions of customers and thousands of merchants increasingly prefer Lipa Na M-Pesa when it comes to payments. Our enhanced integration of Lipa Na M-Pesa for the more than 2,500 merchants will increase the speed and accuracy at which they process cashless payments while also benefiting our customers with increased privacy and accuracy when paying,” said Sitoyo Lopokoiyit, Chief Financial Services Officer, Safaricom.
The upgrade targets 2,500 merchants with more than one Lipa Na M-Pesa payment point by issuing each cashier with distinct till number.
This is a change from the previous situation where each shop had a single till.
As part of the process, Safaricom and the merchants also re-integrated the till numbers under the new Daraja M-Pesa Application Programming Interfaces, which allow for deeper integration.
This now means that when a cashier selects M-Pesa as a mode of payment, the merchant system will reconcile the amount to the latest Lipa Na M-Pesa payment received. This process eliminates the need for the customer to give their mobile phone number or show a payment confirmation message.
In the last 18 months, Safaricom has made a number of moves as it seeks to grow the number of payments further.
In March 2017, Safaricom slashed Lipa Na M-Pesa merchant fees to a maximum of 0.5 per cent of the transaction value and rolled out payments on the Safaricom App with a goal of increasing the accuracy of transactions and shortening the payment process.
Safaricom has also introduced Tap-To-Pay and Scan-To-Pay technology for payments which both shorten the process of making a payment and provide different use cases where M-Pesa can be used for payments, such as in parking.
In its latest financial earnings, Safaricom announced the Lipa Na M-Pesa segment recorded the highest growth in contribution to M-Pesa revenue in the six months to September 30, 2018, growing at almost 50%.
The number of active Lipa Na M-Pesa merchants also increased to more than 109,000.