Apr 15, 2013

Complete M-PESA Buy Goods Guide for Merchants

Over the past one year, the number of small and medium businesses(SMBs) using M-PESA as a key electronic commerce tool has skyrocketed fuelled mostly by the partnership between Safaricom and Kopo Kopo. M-PESA Buy Goods service is providing SMBs with a new payment-acceptance solution that is helping them cultivate loyalty with existing customers and grow revenue.

Here I demystify M-PESA Buy Goods and help you form a plan to make the most of this emerging payment option.

What is M-PESA Buy Goods?
M-PESA Buy Goods is used for POS payments – payments made at the physical point of sale. It includes stores, pubs and restaurants. A merchant is issued with a till, inform of a SIM card, which is used for collecting payments from customers. The till is identified by a 5 or 6 digit short code named as per the merchant’s business name.

M-PESA Buy Goods Merchant
Kopo Kopo
Kopo Kopo is the official merchant aggregator for Safaricom. Kopo Kopo acquires merchants on behalf of Safaricom. The company also offers a software-as-a-service that enables small and medium businesses to affordably manage mobile payments.

How Customers Pay
To make payments, the customer needs to do the following:
  •          Go to M-PESA menu
  •          Select payments services
  •          Enter merchants till number
  •          Enter amount and M-PESA PIN
Both the customer and the merchant receive confirmation of payments from M-PESA via text in real-time.

How Businesses get their Money
All payments collected at a merchant’s till are paid back to the merchant directly to their bank account or personal M-PESA number by Kopo Kopo.

Pricing
Merchant pays a fee of 1.5% per transaction. The customer does not pay any transaction fee, meaning that Safaricom does not charge a customer for paying with M-PESA at a merchant’s till.

Benefits of M-PESA Buy Goods
M-PESA now has over 15.8 million customers who have a balance on their phone at one time or another. The M-PESA Buy Goods service is helping merchants offer added value and convenience to their customers. Those customers who have a balance in their M-PESA will have another avenue to pay. This enables a business to cultivate loyalty among existing customers, drive more customers and grow revenue. The service also helps businesses lower the risk associated with handling cash.

The funds collected on a Buy Goods till cannot be transferred or withdrawn from the till and there is no loss even if the till is stolen or misplaced.

Once a payment has been received, only the receiving merchant can reverse it. Safaricom is not authorized to carry out Buy Goods reversals; they do so when they receive official communication from the merchant.

Merchants using M-PESA Buy Goods
The following are some of the merchants accepting M-PESA Buy Goods.

Mambo Italia           Caribea Bar and Restaurant               Best Lady Cosmetics
SlimsRestaurant       Smile Toys                                        Haltonspharmacy
TurquoiseScents      Officemart                                         Fargo Courier
Naked Pizza            Zucchini Green Grocers                     Hotel Bission