Pesapal launches Sabi, an NFC-powered payments system to help merchants in East Africa go cashless
Kenya’s Pesapal has launched Sabi, (savvy) its chip and pin and NFC-powered mobile Point of Sale (mPOS) solution to allow businesses and individuals to process secure card payments in store or on the go via their Android mobile phones or tablets.
The launch of Sabi in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania is an onslaught over Safaricom’s M-PESA 1Tap which unfortunately is limited to M-PESA payments alone. Sabi will allow businesses to process Visa and MasterCard debit and credit cards in both local currencies and US dollars.
Apart from being multi-currency and multiplatform, Sabi benefits from the relationship Pesapal has build with major banks, Mobile Network Operators, Credit Card companies and utility firms to give consumers as many payment options as possible and timely settlements for business to their bank account of choice.
“We exist to bolster financial and digital inclusion in the markets we are in. We offer businesses freedom to access services that they have traditionally had more difficulty getting, either due to their size or volumes,” said Pesapal CEO Agosta Liko. “With Sabi we are doing this in the most accessible, affordable and mobile way available anywhere.”
Liko added that Sabi is also the firm’s way of taking financial services to the informal sector, a segment that has previously been under served. By adding Sabi to its business products, the PCI PIN and PCI DSS certified firm is making it possible for more small businesses to respond to their customers’ preferred methods of payment.

These card payments will be processed over Bluetooth connections via Sabi mPOS terminals offered by Pesapal. The Sabi terminals are portable and can process over 250 transactions on a single charge. The terminals are able to process both chip and pin payments as well as NFC contactless payments. Business owners are then able to view their transaction histories and issue receipts for their payments via the Android Sabi app.

Later versions of Sabi will support mVisa, M-PESA and American Express payments adding to the payment options businesses will offer their clientele.

Business can access Sabi online via where they set up a business account and sign a merchant contract. They will then proceed to purchase their Sabi terminal which when delivered, will be set up for them and allows them to start transacting within 24 hours.

TechMoran is establishing if or when PesaPal might start giving loans to merchants using Sabi like its US counterpart Square does. Kenya’s Kopo Kopo tried its hands at merchant loans too.


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