M-Pesa processes Sh700m Inua Jamii transfers in January


A user sending money on M-Pesa. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Safaricom’s mobile-money platform M-Pesa processed Sh700 million payments under the government cash transfer programme, Inua Jamii, in January.

According to new disclosures by the operator, the transfers benefitted an estimated 300,000 persons enrolled in the programme at the end of the period.

Disbursements under the State cash transfer programme switched to the M-Pesa platform from January this year, following a December 2023 presidential directive.

President William Ruto ordered the shift on Jamhuri Day last year, saying it would save beneficiaries from the hassle of long distances, costs and inconveniences associated with bank transfers.

Last month, the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection announced the release of Sh2 billion as the January payment to beneficiaries enrolled in the Inua Jamii programme and a further Sh5.9 million for nutrition improvement through cash and health education (NICHE), a complimentary programme.

The caregivers to persons registered as Inua Jamii beneficiaries are expected to enroll for the M-Pesa payment using their registered M-Pesa phone numbers.

About 207,000 beneficiaries had enrolled for the M-Pesa payment and received payments via the platform since December, according to Ministry disclosures.

The Ministry of Labour is expected to have ended payments to beneficiaries via bank transfers in February with all recipients expected to register to receive disbursements on M-Pesa.

“We note that there are around 100,000 beneficiaries who have not enrolled (for M-Pesa payments) through *222#. These caregivers will be paid through the bank account for the last time and they have only this month to enroll to the M-Pesa payment. The caregivers for orphans and vulnerable children and persons with severe disabilities must register to continue receiving their Inua Jamii stipends,” noted Social Protection and Social Citizen Affairs Principal Secretary Joseph Motari.

The processing of payments to beneficiaries via M-Pesa points to a boon for telco operators as the government expands cashless payments.

Beyond Inua Jamii, the government has gazetted paybill number 222222 as the single payment platform for e-services under the e-Citizen platform.

Operators such as Safaricom which runs M-Pesa, controlling over 98 percent of all mobile money payments, is expected to enjoy a windfall from the processing of payments under the platform.

In February, collections through the platform averaged Sh350 million daily, from a mean of Sh50 million daily in the year ended June 2023 mirroring the increased volume of transactions on the platform.

Safaricom expects to reach two million beneficiaries under the Inua Jamii programme by the end of September this year.

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