Jan 14, 2013

Cross boarder bill payments next frontier for M-PESA

On March 2011, Safaricom partnered with Western Union to offer international money transfer service. The money transfer is done in real time and both the sender and receiver are sent a confirmation SMS from M-PESA.

In the near future Safaricom should consider offering cross-border bill payment, as an alternative or supplement to international money transfer as a way of Kenyans in the diaspora can get money to their family back home. Instead of simply sending $1000, one could send solar-powered water pumping system and school fees directly to the school.

Cross-border bill payment will allow the remitter to remotely exercise more control over how the funds are spent. Being able to ascertain important needs are being taken care of provides an additional peace of mind to the remitter.

Kenyans in the diaspora sent home over KES 90.54 billion ($ 1.06 billion) in 2012. Diaspora remittances have become increasingly important to the Kenyan economy, rivaling tourism and agriculture as key revenue earners.