Home Tech Video: Safaricom’s MPESA should borrow a leaf from Google new pay app, Tez.

Video: Safaricom’s MPESA should borrow a leaf from Google new pay app, Tez.

by Dennis Mathu
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Tez is a new mobile payment app that Google just launched in India. It uses the Indian government backed Unified Payments Interface (UPI) platform, this means it is compatible with all banks that use the same platform. Google already has Android Pay, but Tez introduces a fresh effort to mobile payments with functionality that would greatly enhance MPESA.

The specific features that we would hope to see MPESA integrate include the Tez Cash Mode. This feature lets you send money to a nearby Tez user without the need to exchange sensitive details such as phone number or bank account. The feature works the same way as the Xender app when you are transferring files to a friend, it scans nearby people who have cash mode turned on; you simply tap the person you want to transact with. Therefore, you can simply send cash to a supermarket checkout without having to key in till numbers, same scenario can play out at the petrol station, with ease. With such a feature, you can send/receive some money to/from a nearby person without giving them your personal MPESA number. Now that Safaricom has a native smartphone app, these features are possible as compared to when they only used the SIM toolkit menu.

The second feature we would hope for is the authentication of transactions by using modern methods such as fingerprint readers or iris scanners. Tez lets you confirm payments by simply tapping your phones fingerprint reader. Most phones nowadays come with these biometric readers, heck even those that sell below KES 10,000 ($100). Safaricom should integrate the option to use your fingerprint reader to complete money transactions since PINs are not always safe. A nosy person can simply peep at your keypad and instantly know your PIN.

Tez uses money in your bank account, it doesn’t require you to store it in a digital account like MPESA does. This means that your money continues to earn you interest. We hope MPESA had the option to withdraw directly from your bank straight to an agent. (You currently have to withdraw from bank account >> send to MPESA account>> withdraw from MPESA agent.)

So, dear Safaricom, if you are reading this, please consider the features mentioned. We would be very grateful.


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