Safaricom #ticker:SCOM has launched its M-Pesa 1Tap payment card, wristband and stickers in five more towns, stepping up competition with banks for plastic card users.
The launch in Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Eldoret and Nyeri comes after a pilot test in Nakuru unveiled in May this year.
Under M-Pesa 1Tap, customers have the option of using a card, a wristband or a sticker affixed to their phones to make payments. The three tags will be integrated to the customers' M-Pesa accounts.
Users will make payments by tapping any of the tags to a retail point-of-sale and in-putting their M-Pesa PIN numbers on their phones following a real-time pop-up prompt.
Safaricom says M-Pesa 1Tap is ultimately intended to increase the efficiency of cashless transactions at retail outlets.
"This cuts down the steps involved from more than eight steps using the M-Pesa tool on SIM cards to just one step for the customer," said the company in a statement.
Safaricom says 2,000 merchants have taken up the M-Pesa 1Tap service in Nakuru and more than 90,000 customers have used it.
Among those who have taken up the service include Shell, Naivas, Choppies, KenolKobil, Oilibya, Total and QuickMart. The service is, however, not yet available at all outlets run by these retailers.