Apr 30, 2013

M-PESA sets world first with Cashless Distribution Networks

For Fast Moving Consumer Goods companies, cash is expensive and inefficient. A company has to worry about protecting cash from theft, receiving fake currency, and transporting cash. All of this - security,processing time and  transportation, - entails costs.

Safaricom is partnering with Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) companies in Kenya to deploy cashless payments with M-PESA. Safaricom’s deal with FMCG companies in Kenya represents what could be the first successful cashless distribution networks in the world.

The FMCG companies are using the M-PESA Buy Goods payment option to receive payments from bars, restaurants and other retail outlets countrywide. Majority of these bars, restaurants and retail outlets also accept M-PESA payments from their customers.


Many beer distributors do not take cash anymore. I have talked to several bar owners in Nairobi who have confirmed to me that the beer distributors who are selling EABL products only accept M-PESA payments.

According to Safaricom, the cashless project has shown tremendous growth with over KES 500 million being paid via M-PESA Buy Goods in the month of December 2012 alone.

The cashless project is yielding major gains for the distributors and the M-PESA agents as well. The FMCG companies have slashed their costs of handling cash and the agents who can meet the float demands from the distributors are earning huge commissions.

 Safaricom is also advising the M-PESA agents on those high potential areas where they can open more M-PESA outlets to make sure that the float demands are always met.