Uber and Safaricom have confirmed the launch of their much awaited partnership which will allow riders in Kenya pay for trips through the popular mobile money service M-Pesa.

It means that more riders will be able to request a ride when they need to, without the hassle of using a card or cash as a means of payment. In addition, drivers who lack bank accounts can use M-Pesa for payment acceptance to fully leverage digital trips, further enhancing financial inclusion.

According to Uber’s data, one in five drivers on the platform don’t have a bank account. The firm currently employs 12,000 drivers across the country.

Imran Manji, Head of East Africa, Uber said: “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,” We are pleased to have found a partner in Safaricom in order to take this significant step towards enhancing financial inclusion in the country.”

person holding black iphone 5

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez via Unsplash

The deal follows a collaboration between Safaricom and UberEats that gave consumers the option to pay for deliveries through M-Pesa whilst also allowing delivery people to receive payment via the mobile money service.

Safaricom’s results for the last financial year showed that the company processed 6.4 billion payments through M-Pesa. The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has also reported that the number of total card payments in the country was at 70 million for the same period making M-Pesa the most favoured method of cashless payments in the country.

“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. We maintain a strong commitment to working with partners such as Uber as they enable us to deliver more value and opportunities to our customers in line with our purpose to transform lives,” Peter Ndegwa, CEO, Safaricom added.

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Image source: Uber