Continuing the discussion from Safaricom Lipa na Mpesa Pilot still ongoing with 16,000 users:
Mpesa 1 Tap launched today on paper, but we aren’t sure when it starts being in use outside of the Nakuru Pilot. That aside I will go again over the dynamics. Two links below have a lot on what to expect and how it works.
Now if I’m gonna repeat myself it’s probably for those of you who won’t click through to read the articles. But I definitely can’t exhaust what’s covered in the two articles.
Mpesa 1 Tap card, wristband and sticker are all basically NFC tags to ensure any phone can connect the NFC point of sale device to the SIM tool-kit. That’s it, beyond that they are all dumb. Anyone who thought this an opportunity to start wearing a fitness tracker will be disappointed. The only thing that is powered is the POS which is like a dumb phone with cellular network connectivity, keys for sign ups and payments processing and NFC on the back.
NFC phones don’t have any advantage here, so return those to your pockets and sit in the queue. As far as Mpesa 1 Tap, we are all equal. Not even Mpesa service PIN which is a preserve of smartphones, the POS pushes a request for your Mpesa PIN for payment confirmation.
On the POS screen you have the Mpesa transaction confirmation and a hashed out phone number, you also get the usual Mpesa confirmation code.
We still don’t know when the rollout of service goes outside Nakuru, I guess I mentioned that earlier. The hardware is free for both merchants and Mpesa customers. For Mpesa customers you get to choose which one works for you, not more than one. So you can pick either the NFC sticker, wristband or card.
The cards used on pilot with Safaricom employees and university students was PIN and chip, you enter Mpesa PIN on the POS when the card is plugged in, the design has changed and there is no chip outside of NFC tag. If you ask me, that implementation is quite good, just that they need to cater to us people with NFC to not need an extra hardware.