Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Cheers and Jeers for M-PESA

What a juggernaut this Safaricom has become that I find myself unable to get myself excited to blog about anything else but Safaricom. I'll keep this short though:

First the cheers.

Anyone with a new Safaricom sim card would have noticed two additional menus under the M-PESA section: 'Buy Goods' and 'ATM Withdrawal'. Very exciting stuff, I can already see myself buying groceries at Tusky's with my phone and withdrawing cash from my M-PESA account at the ATM (24 hour availability of cash, the last frontier for M-PESA withdrawals!)

Now the Jeers

There is a service known as 'Pay Bill' that has been on the M-PESA section for a long time but is grossly under-exploited. The Pay Bill service is the key to e-commerce in Kenya and can operate similar to PayPal, but Safaricom are being a real pain in the a** in opening this service to merchants. I applied for this back in April and was asked for nearly 10 documents (company certificate of incorporation, pin documents, CR-12, VAT certificate etc.) which I managed to secure after almost 3 months. One more request however stumped me, Safaricom asked for a 'license that permits me to collect money, and not my trading license' WTF??? Does one need a license to sell goods. Safaricom really need to get their act together, otherwise someone is going to steal their thunder with a 3rd party service, maybe that will be me... hmmm.


coldtusker said...

Please do... asap... SafCon has been holding us hostage too long!

bankelele said...

wow sign of better things to come

startupkenya said...

The MPESA/ATM service is now out. They are running it with PesaPoint. Can't wait for the Buy Goods service!

Meanwhile Equity is trying hard to catch-up with a new mobile banking service which unfortunately fell flat on its face on launch date.
I'm sure some programmers were fired

dadiz said...

Maze i feel you. Another solution would be the banks sell virtual debit card and one cam load cash on the card with m-pesa or any mobile service providers. I emailed like 5 banks and the mobile service providers with my idea and non but safaricom replied to my mail. they said that they only what the license permits them to!!!!!! Kawni i was asking them to commit theft or murder. Just imagine my quality of life.

identify some product on the net. Got to menu item on m-pesa "buy debit card" the bank sends me the virtual details for the card and i am good to go. Imagine !!! the banks can then upsale or cross sell to me coz i chose that bank for the card, m-pesa gets more transaction yani its a win win story, but nooooooo they will not even reply to mail! Hope you become the solution. peace good dreaming