Kenya is highly dependent on the tourism industry (it contributes to 9% of Kenya’s GDP) and the tourism industry goes hand in hand with the hospitality industry. If the hospitality industry is being competitive and keeping up with trends this also impacts the tourism industry. This can be achieved through the use of M-Pesa. In the last 10 years, M-Pesa has experienced great leaps of growth from being a mobile money transfer service to being a fully functional mobile money platform; it offers services such as loans, savings, payment offers, and many others. This growth has led it to be incorporated into our everyday life and no sector should be left behind in embracing this technology especially the hospitality industry.
M-Pesa offers a variety of payment options using its APIs. The APIs that are currently on offer within the daraja platform are:
- B2C API: an API that enables Business to Customer transactions. Companies can transact with customers as end-users of their products or services.
- C2B API: this API allows customers to business transactions. Customers can use Paybill or buy goods and services using this API.
- Lipa na M-Pesa Online Payment API: utilizes STK push to initiate transactions on behalf of a customer.
These different APIs can be utilized by hotels to increase efficiency in their payment process.
Safaricom has applications that hotels (including small hotels) can take advantage of as they can use the application to track transactions and store records, with M-Pesa for Business App they can maximize their effectiveness and efficiency. M-Pesa for business is an application that allows merchants to transact and track M-Pesa collection and disbursements.
Hotels should take advantage of these applications because it will allow businesses to:
- Track business growth: Through this, they can be able to track income flows that support their growth. At the close of business each day they can view all accumulated values per day.
- View full statements: Business can see all transactions that were made or received in the account. They can use money-in and money-out to filter between credit and debit cards.
- Transact the pay feature allows one to send money that pays suppliers, refunds, or salaries and is directly sent to an individual M-Pesa The business can withdraw money collected from the till and move to the owner’s M-Pesa account, M-Pesa agent or bank account.
- Manage account: M-Pesa business allows multiple access with weighted rights access to manage and transact on multiple till numbers under the same nominated number.
- Roll up: allows you to push funds collected to the head office.
It goes without saying that when customers pay via till number you minimize the number of times you come into contact with cash and the possibilities of contracting the virus.
A business owner has an upcoming hotel with 10 employees. They can sign up for a till number online, through contracted merchants or through visiting any Safaricom customer care shop. Using a till number, they allow customers to pay using M-Pesa. Instead of the traditional way where the cashier asks for personal information such as name or phone number, Using Safaricom Daraja APIs they can now authenticate transactions from their hotel system OR POS. This will benefit the business to reduce the time and inefficiencies of manually verifying transactions.
For restaurants and hotels the C2B API is best for integration whereby customers can pay against their till and all the transactions can be reflected against one’s URL. However, for greater efficiency, they should use the M-Pesa for Business app which will enable them to not only allow payments but also keep better transaction records, pay employees and supplier directly from the till as well as move funds
If you are keen on discovering the possibilities of M-Pesa through integration, talk to us.
BY: SUSAN NAFULA