Kenyan telco Safaricom has upgraded its M-Pesa mobile money service to implement near-instantaneous transactions.
The faster payments enhancement follows a system upgrade to the M-Pesa Application Programming Interface (API) which has resulted in a reduction of transaction time from an average of 2 hours to less than 30 seconds.
Safaricom's CEO Bob Collymore says: "Innovation is a continuous process at Safaricom and that is why we have been seeking ways to deliver services to customers with speed and efficiency. Twelve leading banks and 26 SACCOs have already migrated to the new platform and migration is on-going for 30 other institutions.."
The new platform will also help streamline operations for businesses which disburse staff salaries through M-Pesa, as well as for those businesses that receive payments through M-Pesa and require to move cash to their bank accounts on a regular basis.
Mobile banking was first introduced in Kenya in 2011 and since then, it has grown by over 262% from an initial 3.3 million customers in December 2011 to almost nine million by December 2013. It is projected that more than 13 million Kenyans will be on mobile banking by the close of this year.