You can now pay your hair dresser, shopping, hotel bills, transport and many other goods and services through lipa na M-pesa. This is a new M-Pesa campaign aimed at using its payment services as the primary tool of transactions for small and medium businesses.

Lipa na M-pesa was launched this afternoon at the Michael Joseph Centre by Safaricom C.E.O Bob Collymore.

This will be an umbrella service for the M-Pesa payment services which include: payment of salaries, pay bill, merchant payment collection service, Retail distribution, bulk payment and Transaction solutions.

The first phrase of lipa na M-pesa is targeting to enroll more than 100,000 small and medium sized businesses on to its merchant service by April 2014.

To ensure the success of the campaign, Safaricom has simplified the registration process for the traders who will only be required to produce copies of a PIN certificate, Identification Card and trading license in order to get a Till Number.

Lipa na M-Pesa is one of the ways to make mobile work in micro-transactions.

CBK reports indicate that the country’s financial inclusion levels are now at 80% with mobile money contributing 57% of the total number of Kenyans with access to some form of formal financial platform.

To use the Lipa na M-pesa service for merchants, customers will be required to go to the M-pesa menu, select payment services, and select buy goods, then enter the TILL number that the merchants will display, and follow subsequent prompts to complete the transactions.

Both the merchant and the customer will then get confirmation receipts from M-Pesa.

In a nutshell:

·         Customers can pay values between 10-70,000

·         Zero transaction fees for the customer

·         Merchant looking to sign up for the service can visit a safaricom retail shop, safaricom authorized dealer or M-Pesa Agent