Small enterprises to pay suppliers directly from M-Pesa accounts

Peter Ndegwa
Safaricom chief executive Peter Ndegwa. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) will now be able to directly pay suppliers from their business M-Pesa accounts, avoiding the lengthy process of getting the cash from their bank accounts.

This follows the upgrade of Lipa na M-Pesa that allow merchants like bars, petrol stations and supermarkets to tap directly the cash paid into their accounts for goods and services.

Previously, money paid into the more than 170,000 business accounts was remitted to the respective customer bank accounts before the merchants could access them.

Now, the merchants can use their Lipa na M-Pesa accounts to pay suppliers, employee salaries and other levies directly.

“Business owners with a business paybill can now send money to other M-Pesa customers to pay wages, pay for supplies and make payments to other businesses all through the app,” Safaricom #ticker:SCOM chief executive Peter Ndegwa said Thursday at the launch of the new app — M-Pesa for Business Smartphone App.


“Small and medium businesses now have a technology that will help them grow.”

The merchants will be charged the normal M-Pesa transfer fees, boosting Safaricom’s earnings from the mobile money services that now accounts for a third of its revenues.

M-Pesa, which was launched in 2007, is one of the most popular modes of payments in Kenya.

The platform is used to send money, save, borrow and make payments in a wide range of outlets.

The new app also gives traders a real-time dashboard view of transactions from their various businesses or counters that use till numbers, thereby improving decision making.