Have you ever gone to a Kenyan supermarket and the person ahead of you is making their payment for the goods using M-Pesa? How long did it take? Did you like it?
There have been calls on Supermarkets such as Naivas to establish special queues for men and women who pay using M-Pesa. Why? Because they always take their sweet time inconveniencing other shoppers.
Someone courageously pushes a trolley full of goods towards the teller. Stands there, grinning like a green gecko there as the teller scans the goods. Then when all is done, the person remembers that he/she was supposed to pay via M-Pesa. Struggles with the phone looking for the M-PESA. They appear as if they are interacting with their phone for the first time in years.
There is another breed, who after their products have been scanned and it is time to pay, then fish out their phone, go to their banking app, struggle to move cash from their bank account to M-Pesa, then from M-Pesa to the Supermarket Till Number.
There are others who literally forget their M-Pesa PIN Numbers and have to call their wives or closer relatives to confirm and others stand on the line, patiently waiting to be served.
It is true that M-Pesa has revolutionized transactions in Kenya. It is one of the most powerful tools that have enabled financial inclusion across the country. But it is high time Safaricom gave Supermarkets the idea of having special queues for the “Lipa Na M-Pesa” guys.
If you are going to shop and you know that you will use M-Pesa to pay, make sure that you know the simple process of doing so and be mindful of other shoppers. Don’t take your sweet time as if other shoppers waiting don’t have phones or don’t know how to use M-Pesa.