Safaricom’s (NSE: SCOM) M-PESA service has today scored another feat after successfully passing the GSMA Mobile Money Certification, a global initiative that defines and promotes excellence in the provision of mobile money services.
M-PESA met the criteria in eight areas of assessment, including: safeguarding of customer funds, service security, safeguarding of customer data and privacy, and mitigation against money laundering, terrorist financing, and fraud risks.
“The awarding of the GSMA Mobile Money Certification to M-PESA is a strong testament to the heavy investment we have made in people resources and financial investments, which have been critical to building such a robust service. This certification further reassures our customers of M-PESA’s reputation as a trusted, stable and reliable solution,” said Nicholas Mulila, Director – Risk Management, Safaricom.
Other areas assessed as part of the certification process include agent and staff management, reliable service provision, customer communication, customer service and management of customer complaints.
M-PESA becomes one of the first mobile money services to achieve this level of certification, cementing its position as a global leader in mobile money transfer and payments.
“The GSMA Mobile Money Certification is a consumer-focused initiative, aimed at giving customers confidence that a provider has taken steps to ensure their funds are in safe hands, their rights are protected and they can expect a high level of customer service,” said John Giusti, Chief Regulatory Officer, GSMA. “With over 690 million accounts globally, the mobile money industry is having a clear impact on the global effort to expand financial inclusion, providing access to life-enhancing financial services and serving as a gateway to the digital economy.”
Launched 11 years ago, the service began as a way for Kenyans to send money to informal savings groups, commonly known as “chamas,” before quickly evolving to fill the gap in person-to-person transactions within Kenya’s unbanked population. It has since grown to 27 million customers and more than 148,000 agents all over Kenya, with Safaricom investing heavily in the service’s infrastructure to position it as the most preferred cashless mode of payment for goods and services in Kenya and beyond.
In 2014, Safaricom invested in a second generation M-PESA platform, which added more features and increased the capacity of the service to more than 900 transactions per second. The investment also saw the migration of the service from Germany to Kenya, a move that increased M-PESA’s availability to almost 100%.
This was followed in 2017 by another upgrade that resulted in the increased robustness of the service. The update enabled Safaricom to increase transparency around transaction costs and made it possible for customers to reverse transactions made to unintended recipients.
Since then, Safaricom has also introduced an enhanced and simplified M-PESA Application Programming Interface (API), which has allowed third-party partners to layer their services on M-PESA infrastructure, therefore stimulating business and attracting both local and global players.
Other measures that the firm has taken to boost security and reliability on the service include deployment of a highly qualified team of cybersecurity and fraud experts to provide first-line customer support.
Recently, the company digitized its subscriber registration process in order to eliminate the need for paperwork and form-filling. The new subscriber Registration App also ensures a water-tight process that empowers both agents and customers adhering to the legal requirements on subscriber registration.