The popular Lipa Na MPesa was added to Safaricom Mpesa menu back in mid-2013. It gives MPesa subscribers the option of paying for goods and services using cash stored on their MPesa accounts. For a period of more than two year it has become more popular among merchants. It’s apparent that everyone transfer his daily transaction on the platform, when paying bill, buying for goods and service.
However Safaricom has always faced rivalry on its products and service. The Equity bank Equitel posing threats on safaricom Mpesa, and the recent one Family Bank partnership with international electronic payments company Visa to develop a payment application that connects customers’ accounts and ATM cards with their mobile phones.
The bank’ customers who have the Pesa-Pap and MVisa applications will pay for goods and services that they need on a daily basis by swiping their mobile phones at point-of-sale terminals of registered businesses small and medium enterprises. This new service will enable customers to send and receive funds from other Visa account holders worldwide as well as withdraw and deposit cash to and from their accounts at MVisa agent outlets.
The payment platform targets all Kenyans with both smart phones and basic mobile phone who can access it using a USSD code, giving the lender a wider customer base. Transactions via MVisa are deemed more secure since they are initiated by customers who enter their details, reducing chances of fraud. This one area where the Lipa Na m-pesa has failed. Unless you have a safaricom line you can’t access their serves.
MVisa is a card-less solution that offers customers the convenience of making digital payments at retail outlets. Customers of any MVisa issuing bank can make digital payments at MVisa enabled retail outlets.
The MVisa app will initially facilitate transactions for people with accounts in four banks, including KCB Group Ltd. and Co-operative Bank of Kenya Ltd, according to Visa Emerging Markets Senior Vice President Uttam Nayak. The company estimates 84 million of Africa’s mobile-phone users still pay by cash.
Users of MVisa will make payments by scanning a unique merchant Quick Response, or QR, code using their smart phones. Customers of participating will need to activate MVisa, Once activated, they will be able to access MVisa via their bank’s mobile app or via USSD. MVisa customers will be able to send money to anyone using the service and also use it for payments.
For Lipa Na MPesa the steps to complete a payment using Mpesa are not few:
- Select Mpesa
- Select Lipa na Mpesa
- Select ‘Buy Goods and service
- Spend seconds looking for the till number even though it is right in front
- Key in the till no.
- Key in the amount to be paid
- Confirm that the amount and the till number are both right
- Uncomfortably wait for the Mpesa confirmation message
- Handover my phone to the teller so that he/she can confirm that I have paid
What drives through my mind during this process? In general, I find the experience to be hectic. With MVisa for smartphone users, the merchant will provide a QR code that will have their payment details. For feature phone users, the merchant will give them a number for them to use via USSD.
- Open PayZapp. App
- Click on. ‘Scan to Pay’
- Press the yellow button to see the QR code Displayed on TV.
- Scan & enter the amount.
- Confirm payment.
That is way easier! Why then do I still use Mpesa? Even better, why do other people use it a lot even though it isn’t the easiest way to pay?