SwypePay,an NFC-powered mobile payments platform launched last year had its technology working but failed to properly market their innovation to enable them on-board as many customers as possible something that might have motivated Safaricom to move into this space.
SwypePay which has a wallet that users can load money via credit card and M-Pesa and was tinkering on its partnership with corrupt and now struggling Chase Bank, enables users to register online, via a mobile app and via USSD either as a merchant or an individual. On registration, a user receives an SMS confirmation and an email for verification then start immediate transactions with SMS and email confirmation notifications on each complete transaction.
In the same spirit, M-PESA 1 Tap uses a Near Field Communication (NFC) enabled card, wristband or phone sticker. To make payments, customers will tap their cards, wristbands or stickers on an M-PESA 1 Tap Point of Sale terminal (POS), and enter their PIN on their phone to confirm and complete the payment.
“M-PESA 1 Tap marks the next phase in our M-PESA journey as we bring to our customers innovations that further enhance the speed, safety and convenience of the service. We have seen the number of payments on M-PESA now grow to the equivalent of person-to-person transactions, a testament that Lipa Na M-PESA has indeed become an integral part of our customers’ day-to-day lives,” said Bob Collymore, CEO, Safaricom.
M-PESA customers will also benefit from a higher level of privacy as they can now complete Lipa Na M-PESA payments without having to show confirmation messages as has been the case in some instances. In addition, the solution will reduce errors that occur when payments are made to unintended Till Numbers.
In line with the current practice, customers will continue making Lipa Na M-PESA Buy Goods transactions with M-PESA 1 Tap at no cost, with the exception of petrol station tariffs, betting and Pay Bills. Retailers purchasing from wholesalers will also maintain their current Buy Goods Distributor tariff.
Merchants across the country will be issued with M-PESA 1 Tap Point of Sale terminals in line with the phased roll out. Both customers and merchants will be issued with M-PESA 1 Tap payment devices and two subsequent replacement will be free. Swype wouldn’t have the stamina to do this just as Philo Farnsworth failed to give the world a fully working TV after inventing one.
Swype has an upperhand over Safaricom in that it allows users to load their wallet using M-Pesa and credit cards. If Swype could add PayPal and other providers, say banks, Safaricom would need them as not everything Safaricom launches becomes successful such as the Big Box, Vuma Matatu Wifi and MyMarket.