Are you ready to start your MPESA Agent business but don’t know where to start?
Don’t worry. In this guide I will be revealing everything you need in order to build an MPESA empire and start reaping unbelievable profits.
By the end of this guide, you will know exactly what requirements you need to start an MPESA agent business. What is more, I will be revealing powerful strategies you can use to quickly multiply your commissions and get customers flocking to your MPESA agent shop.
To kick you off, you need to understand what benefits you will get from an MPESA agent business.
Benefits of an MPESA Agent Business
The primary focus of any business is to make profits. That is why it is important to first understand whether an MPESA agent business is worth your time.
Below are some of its benefits:
- Easy to start – To start an MPESA agent business, you don’t have to go through endless paperwork like in other mainstream businesses. All you need is the initial capital, a business license and a shop.
- Flexibility – MPESA business can be seamlessly done alongside other businesses. Your other businesses will not be significantly affected. In fact, they will be perfectly complementary.
- Low operating costs – You will not incur a lot of expenses while operating an MPESA agent business. To start with, you don’t need a lot of space. If you already have a business building, you won’t need to build another one for MPESA.
- Profitable – There is no doubt that an MPESA agent business is profitable. That is what makes it so appealing. Depending on your location, number of outlets and consistency, you can make more than Ksh 50,000 per month. I know of people who make way more than that.
- No need of staff – You only need one person per outlet to operate your MPESA business.
Disadvantages of MPESA Agent business
Like any other business, being an MPESA agent comes with its own pitfalls. Below are some of the challenges you will face:
- Competition – As of July 2018, there were 218,495 registered mobile money agents. The number is even higher in 2019. So you have to be ready to face tough competition. Chances are, an MPESA shop already exists where you plan to set up yours.
- Security – Cases of MPESA agents being attacked by thugs is on the rise. You need to be on the lookout and report any suspected thugs immediately.
- Fraud – Many MPESA have lost a lot of money to cons who claim to be Safaricom representatives. Be vigilant and take due precautions before sending any significant amounts.
- Strict Terms of Operation – If you go against Safaricom’s terms of operation, you stand having your MPESA line blocked at any time.
- Stagnant growth – The only away you can grow your MPESA business is by opening more outlets. Otherwise, if you have only one shop, you won’t see significant growth in commissions over the years.
Requirements to Start an MPESA Agent Business
To be able to open an MPESA Agent shop, you need to satisfy the requirements discussed below.
To be an agent
- You must be registered as a LIMITED company.
- You have to open not less than 3 outlets for MPESA services. All the outlets will be first audited by Safaricom representatives before they start operation.
- Your company must have been in business for not less than six months
- You must have a minimum of Ksh 100,000 for each outlet you open. If your application to be an MPESA agent is successful, you will be given a contract to sign after which you will be required to deposit this money within a month. If you don’t do so, your contract will be terminated even before you start.
- If you decide to employ someone to operate your MPESA shop, he/she must be competent and have at least a KCSE certificate.
MPESA Agent Shop Requirements
- At least 1 computer
- At least 2 staff members to handle operations (optional)
- Internet connection
- 1 printer. Usually for printing downloaded forms but you can do this at a cyber.
- Any other necessary stationary and furniture
- Dedicated office mobile number
- Business email address
- The shop should be branded to match Safaricom’s own guidelines for MPESA shop Design.
STAND ALONE MPESA AGENTS
As mentioned earlier, one of the requirements for starting an MPESA business is having at least three outlets. However, there is an exception to that.
MPESA has identified a special group referred to as the stand alone agents. These are MPESA dealers who are not necessarily required to have the minimum number of outlets because their current business operation makes them beneficial to MPESA with only a single outlet.
Standalone MPESA agents include:
- Super Markets
- Petrol Stations
- Hospitals and Clinics
- Forex Bureaus and
- Convience stores
So if you are operating any of these businesses you are allowed to have only one outlet as an MPESA agent.
MPESA Agent Required Documents
Apart from meeting the criteria outlined above, there are also some documents that are needed in order to operate an MPESA agent business. Different categories of MPESA agents are required to provide different documentation which must be certified by a commissioner for oaths.
The different categories are:
- Safaricom Dealers – These are agents who deal solely in MPESA and do not have a complementary business.
- Non-Safaricom Dealers – Agents whose primary business is not MPESA.
- Stand-alone agents- As discussed above
- Special Category Agents – You are considered a special agent if you operate in remote locations, have only one outlet and have unique business operations such as hospitals, hotels and petrol stations.
Documents required to be a Safaricom Dealer
a) Certificate of incorporation
b) Form CR12 or an equivalent form valid for the last 3 months
c) Copies of IDS of Office Administrators and Primary Assistants as indicated in the application forms
d) Completed agent application forms
Documents Required if You are a Non-Safaricom Dealer
a) Copies of Memorandum and Articles of Association
b) Copies of VAT and PIN certificate where applicable
c) List of Outlets.
d) Certificate of Incorporation or equivalent – 6 months to current
e) Form CR12 or an equivalent form valid for the last 3 months
f) Copies of IDs of Directors or persons playing an equivalent role
g) Copies of IDS of Office Administrators and Primary Assistants as indicated in the application form
h) Business permits for each of the outlets
- Valid to current year.
- Bears name of company or director.
i) Police clearance certificate for director’s – current to 6 months or persons in equivalent role, Office administrators and Primary Assistants (excluding banks).
Documents Required From Stand Alone MPESA Agents
a) Documents as outlined above for Non‐Safaricom dealers.
b) Financial institutions to provide copy of banking license
Special Category Agents Requirements
Documents as outlined above for Non‐Safaricom dealers/NGO’s/Universities & Colleges, foundations and SACCOs. Other required document are:
a) By Laws/Charters /Trust deed where applicable
b) PIN Certificate
c) A brief profile of the organization.
d) List of Outlets
e) Certificate of Registration
f) Form r.14 / Annual Returns to the Commission of Co‐operatives( SACCOs)
g) Copies of IDs and Passport photos of Executive Committee members/Directors
h) Copies of IDs of Office Administrators and Primary Assistants as indicated in the application forms
i) Completed agent application forms
j) Business permits for the Head Office and each of the outlets
k) Police clearance certificate for director’s for Executive Committee members and Primary Assistants – current to 6 months
l) Introduction letter from the District Co‐operative Officer / Provincial Co‐operative Officer or Registrar of co‐operatives with the names of the Executive Officer valid for the last 3 months (SACCOs)
m) Introduction letter from relevant regulatory bodies where applicable.
Types of MPESA Dealers
There are two types of MPESA agents
- Standard Dealer/Super Agent
To be a Super Agent, you will have to go through the entire registration process and meet all the requirements for being an MPESA agent.
Benefits of Being a Standard Dealer
- You are literally the boss in charge of all business operations
- You are fully licensed and recognized by Safaricom as an MPESA agent
- You can open as many outlets as you want and employ competent staff
- You make more profits
- Dedious registration process
- Very Costly
- Managing many outlets can be exhausting and requires good management skills
- You will a staff since you have many outlets
Being a sub-dealer means you have to work under a licensed MPESA agent. This means that you buy an MPESA line from a registered MPESA agent and pay them commissions instead of paying directly to Safaricom.
- You don’t have to go through the tedious registration process
- It is cheaper since you don’t have to pay the required amounts to for registration. I know of people who buy MPESA lines for as little as Ksh 10,000 or less. In terms of float you will need something between Ksh 20,000 to Ksh 40,000 depending on the agreement you have with the agent you buy from.
- You won’t need a staff to operate the business
- You make less profits
- More risks involved