Safaricom, Kenya’s largest telecommunications provider, announced Friday that it will soon launch a new service that will allow customers to set up standing orders through its popular M-Pesa mobile payment platform.
The service will enable M-Pesa users to schedule recurring automatic payments to individuals or businesses, according to George Njuguna, the company’s director of information technology.
Njuguna revealed the news at the launch of the E-Mobility initiative in Mombasa, an event attended by President William Ruto. He said the service will be available for both personal and business accounts, and customers can determine the payment amount and frequency, such as weekly or monthly.
“We understand this economy is a kadogo economy we need to break things down to increase accessibility and affordability,” Njuguna said. He provided the example of paying KES 17 per day for national health insurance instead of KES 500 at once.
Njuguna emphasized the innovation of bringing standing orders to a mobile platform. “This type of solution proves the power of innovation in Africa. It proves that we can actually do it,” he said.
The Safaricom executive framed the new offering within the context of addressing societal challenges. “It is possible to look at a challenge and not just say look at the impossibilities but actually see possibilities,” he remarked.
Njuguna cited the standing order service as being in line with Sustainable Development Goals and combating climate change. “We will not be remembered for the problems we identified but we will be remembered for the problems we solved,” he stated.
Safaricom plans to incorporate the standing order feature beyond the initial e-mobility program application. Njuguna said the company aims to provide the service for other sectors in the country.
A standing order is an automated scheduled payment set up by the payer through their bank account. Customers can establish the payment frequency and amount, such as KES 1,000 per month.