As a result of this renewed focus, M-PESA customers will now be able to make mobile banking transactions instantaneously.
This follows a system upgrade to the Application Programmable Interface (API) which has resulted in a reduction of transaction time from an average of 2 hours to less than 30 seconds. This will in effect help entrench the move towards a cash-lite society through a more effective mobile-banking proposition.
“Innovation is a continuous process at Safaricom and that is why we have been seeking ways to deliver services to customers with speed and efficiency. Twelve leading banks and 26 SACCOs have already migrated to the new platform and migration is on-going for 30 other institutions,” said Safaricom’s Chief Executive Officer Bob Collymore.
The new platform will also help streamline operations for businesses which disburse staff salaries through M-PESA, as well as for those businesses that receive payments through M-PESA and require to move cash to their bank accounts on a regular basis.
Mobile banking was first introduced in Kenya in 2011 and since then, it has grown by over 262% from an initial 3,353, 529 customers in December 2011 to 8,815,194 in December 2013. It is projected that more than 13 million Kenyans will be on mobile banking by the close of this year.
Commenting on the new development, Safaricom’s General Manager for Financial Services Betty Mwangi- Thuo said, “The growth of mobile banking is being fuelled by our customers’ desire for more convenience and greater efficiency. The advent of M-PESA provided Kenyans with an unprecedented degree of financial liberation and the pressure is therefore on us to stay ahead of the market by continuously coming up with innovations that respond to or predict market needs.”
M-PESA was launched in 2007 as a basic peer to peer money transfer system. The transformative service has since evolved into a multi-faceted financial transactions system that is entwined in Kenya’s financial psyche.