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.

4 comments:

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