If you have been thinking of starting a business in Kenya, an M-PESA shop has probably crossed your mind. M-PESA shops are quite profitable businesses and what makes them an attractive investment is that they are quite easy to start and you can operate both as a main or side hustle. Even if you already have an existing business, you can still incorporate an M-Pesa counter into the business.

Would you like to be an agent of the biggest mobile service provider in Kenya? Read on.

Step 1: What You Need to Get Started

To operate an M-PESA shop as an agent, you need to have a registered limited company in business for at least 6 months and have at least 3 outlets ready to offer MPESA services.

A minimum investment for an MPESA outlet is Ksh. 100,000 float.

You’ll need to provide Safaricom with business permits for each of the MPESA outlets, VAT & tax certificates, ID’s, banking license from a reputable financial institution, and police clearance certificates.

Fill in the MPesa agent head office application form and the MPesa agent store application form.

Once you have submitted your forms and met all the requirements you’ll be given a till number that you will use.

Step 2: How to run the Day to Day business

You can run the MPesa outlet yourself or hire competent staff with at least KCSE qualification. You also need to brand your MPESA outlet with the Safaricom brand guidelines. The day to day operations include;

Depositing cash into accounts of registered MPESA customers.

Process cash withdrawal for registered MPESA customers.

Register new MPESA users.

Comply with Safaricom business practices.

Step 3: Choose your preferred MPESA outlet

You can run your M-PESA outlet in two ways;

Standard Outlet

This is the most recommended outlet since you have to go through the complete process above and be registered as an agent.

As a sub-dealer

Operating as a sub-dealer is much more affordable than registering as an agent. However, you will need to work under a licensed agent by buying their MPESA line and paying them a commission for using their lines. For sub-dealers, you only need a float of Ksh.20,000 – Ksh. 40,000.

Expected Challenges

  • Running an MPESA shop doesn’t really make you an entrepreneur because technically you are employed by Safaricom. You have to share your profit with them and they determine the amount of profit that you earn.
  • It is also quite a flooded business. MPESA shops are everywhere, on every street corner and this makes it very competitive.
  • There are also strict guidelines that you should follow as an MPESA agent and failure to adhere can lead to your line being blocked.
  • Running an MPESA shop is also a security risk since people know that you handle a lot of cash and that makes you a target for thieves.

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