Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore has this morning Tweeted that the M-PESA service has a new menu. Apparently Safaricom customers will get the new menu automatically between 5th April 2016 (yesterday) and 29th April 2016.
The new menu has a new menu item called Loan and Savings that’s under M-PESA. It lumps together M-Shwari and KCB M-PESA. Previously, the KCB M-PESA service could only be accessed by dialing *844#. The new menu also has M-Kesho but it will only be visible to M-KESHO customers. M-Kesho was a collaborative product between Equity and Safaricom. The bank has however stopped onboarding new customers to the service and that’s why it’s not a default menu item.
The “My Account” menu has also been updated to include “Mini Statement” option. Through the feature customers will be able to receive a mini M-PESA statement via sms. Previously this was only possible via USSD.
It is possible to update the menu manually if you are like me and don’t want to wait for it to update automatically.
How to update the M-PESA menu
1. Go to M-PESA menu
2. Press Account
3. Press ‘Update customer menu’
4. Input your PIN
5. Keep your phone on and the M-PESA menu will update
6. Once the menu updates, you should get a confirmation message.
The new menu is great for KCB M-PESA because it is easier to create an account and to run it once it’s operational. The 844# *USSD was inconvenient and wouldn’t work sometimes.
I hope that there will be further innovations around M-PESA because as Bankelele noted in a recent article about cashless payments in Kenya, cards (debit and credit) are easier to pay with (for transactions) than M-PESA. He noted that “M-PESA is not convenient if you’re in a rush, and with so many menus and buttons to press it’s also easier to make mistakes and send money to the wrong business account”. For this reason and for convenience sake, we hope that Safaricom is planning to launch an M-PESA app soon.