Businesses are set to start advertising on M-Pesa. This follows upgrades that telecommunications firm Safaricom has carried out on the M-Pesa app, which are aimed at offering additional services to money transfers and withdrawals.
The advertising features will follow those of the Alipay platform that has more than one billion users. Already, Safaricom’s parent firm, Vodacom Group has signed an agreement with the Ant Group from China which runs Alipay. The Alipay platform is a popular mobile and online payment platform.
Vodacom is currently implementing the Alipay app in South Africa and it is expected that some of its features such as advertising will be built into the M-Pesa in Kenya.
“In the case of Kenya and Tanzania in time we will start to get merchants to expose their products into the M-Pesa app through the mini app capability,” said Vodacom’s chief executive Shameel Joosub. “The concept is that of course the more learnings and the more stuff we can develop in South Africa we will then look to agree with Alipay to expand some of those services into the international markets on a case-by-case basis.”
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When implemented, the advertising feature will be the new revenue stream for Safaricom, which has been diversifying its revenue streams in the wake of reduced voice revenues. M-Pesa is currently the biggest revenue generator for Safaricom. In the half year ended September 2021, M-Pesa posted the highest revenue growth of 45.8 percent to Sh. 52.3 billion.