Safaricom’s M-PESA, under the guidance of its CIO George Njuguna, is gearing up to introduce a groundbreaking feature: standing orders. This innovation positions M-PESA as the world’s first mobile money platform to offer this functionality.
George Njuguna, communicating through X (formerly Twitter), remarked, “This is the first initiative, where you will have standing orders on a mobile platform – the first in the world, and not just the first in Africa. We will use it in other areas such as health because we understand this economy to increase accessibility and affordability.”
Standing orders within M-PESA will revolutionize the way recurring payments or transfers are handled. Users can easily establish routine payments from their mobile money accounts to individuals, businesses, or services. This feature will prove convenient for paying bills, rent, and other repetitive expenses promptly and effortlessly.
M-PESA has evolved to offer an array of products and services, spanning payments, savings, and credit access. Among its bill payment options are Lipa na M-PESA and Buy Goods, where users are likely to set up standing orders for automating payments of utility bills, rent, and other obligations on specific dates.
M-PESA also hosts various credit facilities, including M-Shwari, KCB M-PESA, and Fuliza (an overdraft facility). Standing orders will play a crucial role in ensuring timely loan repayments in this domain.
Traditionally, standing orders have been pivotal for savings and investments, aligning with Safaricom’s offerings like KCB M-PESA, M-Shwari for savings, and Mali for investments. Integrating standing orders with these services could facilitate periodic transfers of funds into savings or investment accounts.
In recent times, Safaricom launched a virtual card in partnership with VISA, exclusively for online payments. Kenyan customers can now conveniently settle bills like Netflix subscriptions via M-PESA, a use case where standing orders can simplify recurring payments without manual intervention.
Safaricom has not disclosed a specific timeline for making standing orders available to users, and implementation details remain undisclosed. In the fiscal year ending in March 2023, M-PESA recorded an 8.8% growth in revenue, reaching KES 117.19 billion ($816 million). However, these figures fell short of the prior fiscal year’s results, with Safaricom attributing the decline to macroeconomic factors.