M-Pesa, Safaricom’s leading mobile money platform, is set to roll out standing orders – a first for mobile financial services globally.
The feature will allow M-Pesa users to schedule recurring transfers and payments, like rent, subscriptions, or loan repayments. It brings automated convenience commonly found in traditional banking to mobile money.
“This is the first initiative where you’ll have standing orders on a mobile platform – the first in the world,” said Safaricom CIO George Njuguna.
Details like the launch date and setup process are still unclear. But standing orders could significantly enhance M-Pesa’s offerings for bill pay, credit, and savings.
For bill payment, standing orders will likely integrate with existing services like Lipa Na M-Pesa and Buy Goods. This would enable automated mobile payment of utilities, rent, and more on set dates.
Many Kenyans rely on M-Pesa for loans through platforms like M-Shwari and Fuliza, as standing orders could be key for timely, hassle-free loan repayments.
Additionally, services like M-Shwari and Mali facilitate mobile savings and investments. Standing orders may allow regular automated transfers into these accounts.
The virtual M-Pesa card for online payments could also utilise standing orders to pay subscriptions like Netflix automatically.
This innovation continues M-Pesa’s evolution into a digital banking platform. It already offers payments, credit, savings and more to over 30 million users.
But as M-Pesa expands its features, revenue growth has slowed recently due to economic conditions. In the 2022 fiscal year, M-Pesa revenue increased 8.8% to KES 117 billion – down from previous years.
Nonetheless, standing orders signify M-Pesa’s continuous efforts to enhance financial access. Automated recurring transfers will provide convenience and reliability to users.
If successful, it could set a model for mobile money platforms globally to integrate digital banking services like standing orders.
This will empower consumers across emerging markets to better manage their finances, bills, and repayments. Safaricom aims to lead this next wave of mobile money innovation.