There’s an update to the NEW M-Pesa app that introduces an exciting feature allowing users to now request for money from others. Currently the update has rolled out to the iOS app, but I’m sure either by the time you read this, or a little later, there will be an update to the Android version as well.

If you have the app, check out if there’s an update and once updated go to the SEND sub-menu on the home-screen to find the tabs for SEND and REQUEST.

If you don’t have the app yet, read this article on why it is really good. You’re free to download it on your phone, and Safaricom will even give you free data when you sign up. Though it is still under testing, I’ve been using it for a while now, and it has really changed how M-Pesa works for me. For example, you don’t need the PIN for every transaction thanks to biometrics integration that allows you to use your fingerprint scanner on Android devices and on older iPhones, and facial recognition on newer iPhones. You also don’t need to have your SIM card with you on the phone every time once signed in to a particular device. Just check out that article for the full feature list.

With the new Request Feature, you can easily ask for money from family and friends, or even from people who owe you money for work done. So for many Kenyans who are paid via M-Pesa, this is will be a good way to track payments; see what’s pending and what’s been paid.

How this works:

  1. Under the REQUEST tab, you can enter either the number, or pick a contact of the person you want to request from payment.
  2. You then enter the amount you want to request for, and this request will be sent as a notification to the person.
  3. If they have the new M-Pesa app, they’ll get a notification on the request. If they don’t have the app, they’ll get a text message. See screenshots below.
  4. Once request has been sent, you’ll be able to see all requests under the M-PESA REQUESTS sub-menu. You will see what’s pending, cancelled requests, and what’s been received.

With this, there can be so many use cases. Safaricom can bring the feature to many other parts of M-Pesa including Lipa-na-M-Pesa to kill the currently not-so-reliable STK push. Hopefully, we get to a point where M-Pesa is free, a standalone mobile bank with Points of Sale where you needn’t leave your personal details every time you pay thanks to QR codes that send payment requests to your phone’s apps, and allow you to scan your fingerprints, or faces, to make payments.


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