A race to ease payment for goods and services; Pesapal Sabi Vs Mpesa 1Tap

By Gabriel Onyango

Kenya is at the forefront of financial innovation in Africa and currently the race is to towards helping businesses make the payment process as convenient as possible for their customers. The battle is on, as several innovations – Pesapal Sabi and Mpesa 1Tap are scrambling to more customers, the big question is, who will create the best customer experience and emerge atop.

Pesapal Sabi Service

Pesapal has introduced a service – Pesapal Sabi, that allows businesses, big or small, to receive payments using smartphones and a portable point of sale device. The device acts as a credit card reader, connecting to the phone via Bluetooth.

Businesses will have to register with Pesapal, purchase the mobile point of sale device-Sabi  (sh7,999 ) and install the Pesapal Sabi app. After connecting their phones to the device via Bluetooth, they are ready to accept payments.

The Pesapal Sabi device is built to process over 250 transactions before needing a recharge. Thus, businesses can use it on the go without worrying much about running out of power. It can process chip, pin and contactless payments.

This new service is set to bring small business into the world of electronic payments. “We’re looking at small businesses. Our target includes people selling clothes at Toi Market; the taxi driver; the salon owner; or even the curio seller,” said Pesapal Chief Executive Agosta Liko.

The device is not yet able to process Mpesa and American Express cards. However, the Pesapal CEO says, plans are underway to integrate mobile money and American Express payments in the near future.

The accompanying android app allows merchants to view transactions history and quickly issue receipts to customers.

Mpesa 1 Tap

Mpesa 1Tap is a service by Safaricom that allows businesses to accept payment via a mobile point of sale device. The device has a simple user interface for easy operation and when charged, can last up to a week.

On the other hand, customers have to get one of three tags; a wristband, card or NFC enabled sticker-fixed on the phone, to use the service. These tags are given free from Safaricom shops.

During transactions, merchants key in the amount payable on their device, the buyer then taps their tag (card, wristband, or sticker) against the device to receive a message on their phone. The transaction is then approved once the buyer inputs their password on their phone.

Mpesa 1Tap can work both with smart and feature phones (kabambe) and is meant to ease the process of paying for goods and services.

“I am proud to announce that today we are launching an exciting new product that will greatly enhance the M-PESA experience. M-PESA 1 Tap will reduce the number of steps that a customer must undertake to pay for goods or services from the current eight steps to just one tap,” said Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore.

Whichever route businesses choose to follow, whether it is Pesapal Sabi or Mpesa 1Tap customers are looking forward to enjoying faster payment processes and bidding farewell to long queues (hello supermarkets).


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