Safaricom’s 1Tap product could be a game changer in fintech

The roll out of the product has been expanded into more counties

The success of Kenyan telco SAFARICOM’s  M-Pesa payment platform has become the envy of several African countries but it is its newest update that could be the game changer.

Aptly called 1Tap, the upgrade which has been rolled out in parts of Kenya, is designed to reduce the number of steps  user goes through to facilitate  a mobile money transaction while also taking a stab at the card payment market that still dominates.

The 1Tap system will see the introduction of  M-Pesa debit cards which are not affiliated to any banking institution and point of sale terminals will enable customers to pay for services much faster through the use of Near Field Communication (NFC) tap-and-go technology, a short-range, high-frequency wireless communication technology that enables the exchange of data between devices over about a 10cm distance.

The system will operate via users making payments by tapping any of the tags to a retail point-of-sale and in-putting their M-Pesa PIN numbers on their phones following a real-time pop-up prompt.

Safari com  CEO Bob Collymore,speaking during the launch of the pilot earlier in the year said changing consumer trends needed a response.

“Shifting consumer trends have seen services like debit cards and Lipa Na M-Pesa thrive as consumers embrace more efficient, cashless means of paying for goods and services.”

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