Uber and Safaricom, the leading mobile money platform in Kenya, have today launched a partnership that will see riders across the country pay for trips through M-PESA. This follows a collaboration with UberEats that allowed consumers to pay for deliveries through M-PESA and delivery people to also receive their earnings through M-PESA.
The collaboration is especially set to benefit drivers who lack bank accounts, with Uber’s data showing that about 20% of drivers on the platform do not have bank accounts and therefore lack the opportunity to fully leverage digital trips.
“Through the integration of M-PESA for trip payments, we are excited to bring the ease and convenience of mobile money to riders on our platform,” said Imran Manji, Head of East Africa, Uber. “We are pleased to have found a partner in Safaricom in order to take this significant step towards enhancing financial inclusion in the country.”
Kui Mbugua, General Manager UberEats, Kenya also commented, “We entered into this partnership with Safaricom in order to enhance the experience for delivery people and eaters on our platform through ease of access to earnings and providing a convenient mode of payment for deliveries, respectively.”
According to Safaricom’s results for the last financial year, the company processed 6.4 billion payments through M-PESA. Data from the Central Bank of Kenya shows the number of total card payments in the country was at 70 million for the same period making M-PESA the most preferred mode of cashless payments.
“This partnership with Uber will enable us to provide thousands of drivers and delivery people alongside millions of customers with a fully digital solution with faster, secure, affordable, and convenient payments through M-PESA,” said Peter Ndegwa, CEO – Safaricom.
The partnership is expected to boost financial inclusion in Kenya by providing a convenient and affordable way for people to pay for rides and deliveries. It is also expected to benefit Uber drivers by giving them more flexibility in how they receive their earnings.
To use M-PESA to pay for a ride, riders will simply need to select the M-PESA payment option when they book their ride. They will then be prompted to enter their M-PESA PIN to complete the payment.
The partnership is the latest in a series of initiatives by Uber to promote financial inclusion in Kenya. In 2019, Uber launched a pilot program that allowed riders to pay for rides with their Airtel Money accounts. The program was a success, and Uber has since expanded it to include other mobile money platforms.
The partnership with Safaricom is a significant step forward for Uber in its efforts to promote financial inclusion in Kenya. It is also a win for Safaricom, which will be able to reach a new audience of potential M-PESA users through Uber.