M-Pesa partners with insurance giants

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FROM left Alliance Insurance Marketing Manager Limakatso Mokobocho, VCL Executive Head of M-Pesa Palesa Mphunyetsa and Metro
FROM left Alliance Insurance Marketing Manager Limakatso Mokobocho, VCL Executive Head of M-Pesa Palesa Mphunyetsa and Metro

Mohalenyane Phakela

VODACOM Lesotho has partnered with Alliance Insurance and Metropolitan Lesotho to launch an innovative and convenient way of using M-Pesa to pay insurance without the merchant number that was previously required to process payments.

Addressing the launch ceremony of the facility in Maseru yesterday the Executive Head of M-Pesa, Palesa Mphunyetsane, said the addition of Metropolitan Lesotho had expanded the scope of the partnership.

“In 2014 we launched the use of M-Pesa to pay insurance premiums by teaming up with Alliance Insurance and today we are welcoming a new partner on board, namely Metropolitan Lesotho,” Ms Mphunyetsane said.

“In the past, people had to remember the merchant number every time when processing payments and that caused so much inconvenience.

“So we came up with a simpler way of paying premiums which allows the customer to just dial *111#, choose M-Pesa (4), then M-Pesa services (1), enter pin, then select Insurance (5) and finally get to choose between paying Alliance or Metropolitan.”

Speaking at the same event, M-Pesa Manager Mampine Rabatho said the mobile money service had made life easier for Basotho.

M-Pesa is a mobile phone-based money transfer and micro-financing service first introduced by Kenya’s leading mobile money network operator, Safaricom, which is part of the Vodafone Group. The word M-Pesa was derived from Swahili, where “m” refers to mobile and “pesa” means money.

M-Pesa has been adopted and is currently utilised in all Vodafone and Vodacom’s operations across the globe.

Since its launch in the Mountain Kingdom, M-Pesa has grown in leaps and bounds with the introduction of other facilities such as paying for digital satellite television and utilities such as water and electricity.

“M-Pesa is a monetary platform that simplifies lives regardless of the location of the user,” Ms Rabatho said.

“Today we are moving away from remembering the merchant number to just choosing which insurance provider to pay by following simple steps.”

She said an SMS confirmation would be sent to the client after every transaction as a reference for the payment tendered.

Ms Rabatho also revealed that parents and students could now pay school fees via M-Pesa.

“We have launched a pay school fees with M-Pesa campaign which will run till March 2017 whereby a school with a minimum of 30 percent of its fees being paid through M-Pesa will stand a chance to win a fully-equipped state-of-the-art computer laboratory,” she said.

“We also encourage companies to use M-Pesa as means of transferring money to further promote Lesotho as a cashless society.”

Alliance Insurance Marketing Manager Limakatso Mokobocho said the use of M-Pesa was a welcome relief to their customers who previously endured long queues each month while those who lived in remote areas often took time to get to the nearest towns to pay their contributions.

She said some customers ended up losing money after postponing trips to pay on account of the inconveniences of distance and queuing, adding in some instances policies lapsed as a result of missed deadlines.

“We approached Vodacom as soon as they launched M-Pesa and we are extremely humbled by the service as it has made our work as well as the clients’ lives easier,” she said.

“We always include the payment instructions at the back of every client’s receipt book.”

For her part, Metropolitan Lesotho Head of Sales and Distribution Palesa Kaloli described M-Pesa as an innovative addition to means of premiums payments.

“Our clients could only pay in cash or with the bank’s monthly stop-order but we understood that it is not everybody who receives a salary through the bank and others live in remote areas. So we teamed up with Vodacom on the M-Pesa initiative which will make lives easier,” Ms Kaloli said.

She said they gave clients three months grace period before lapsing the policy in the event of non-payment of premiums, adding: “But with this innovation we believe they will not wait for long before paying as they can now do it in the comfort of their homes.”

 

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