This computer vision innovation will make it easy to make M-PESA business payments

This computer vision innovation will make it easy to make M-PESA business payments

computer vision m-pesa business payment kenya jama mohamed

You go to a shop, purchase an item and want to pay with M-PESA. You look around to find the notice with the till number and take turns looking up and down to enter the number on your phone. More often going over the number one more time or twice if you got it wrong initially. We’ve all been there, especially when you are in a haste.

How will you like a situation where you can just launch the Safaricom, KCB, Equity, I&M or your bank or Sacco’s app and using your camera it gets you that information? You only enter the amount you are paying, your pin number, et voilà you are set to go.

Unfortunately, Safaricom doesn’t have that feature in their app yet. The app, however, allows customers who prefer to use the voucher card to scan the 16 digits and it will automatically pick the digits.

That might change soon with this genius innovation from Jama Mohamed. A Business Information and Technology student graduate of Strathmore University.

Jama created an android detection library that uses Microsoft Azure Computer Vision service Read API to detect M-PESA business account numbers from images.

With this, it will be easier, faster and more accurate than typing an M-PESA paybill and till number. It is also able to know the exact category the image falls under, so no mix match there.

computer vision m-pesa business payment demo kenya

The software engineer’s open source project opens the door for financial service organizations in Kenya using the M-PESA API to add this plug and play android library to their app. Making it easier for customers using their app to use this functionality for payments.

Computer vision innovation

Jama shares the idea for the project came after having to confirm about five times for something he was purchasing.

I was purchasing something from the web that had M-PESA paybill as a payment option. The account number was a long randomly generated string that I basically had to confirm like five times.

And that’s where the idea came from, just to take some form of picture and use machine learning to extract information that was important.

The idea was to get these details a little faster than just typing them all the time since some businesses don’t have QR codes.

Hopefully, Kenyan financial organizations will add Jama Mohamed’s library to their app. Or work with him to create a unique one. So that next time you open your Standard Chartered, KCB, Equity, Ecobank, etc. or Safaricom app to pay for a purchase you just use your camera.

Jama welcomes contributions from other developers to improve the library. Check out the library on GitHub.

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This is the easiest way to send money from your PayPal account to your M-PESA wallet

This is the easiest way to send money from your PayPal account to your M-PESA wallet

PayPal to M-PESA

There are various ways to send money from your PayPal account to your M-Pesa wallet. These transactions are mostly done through third-party platforms leaving you with high transaction fees. I find the PayPal collaboration with Safaricom (Safaricom Money Transfer Services Limited) and Thunes (TransferTo Mobile Financial Services Ltd) the easiest and most cost-efficient.

Firstly you don’t have to create several different accounts. Or need to have a bank account. All you need is your PayPal email address and your M-Pesa mobile money number. The PayPal mobile money platform lets you link your wallet to your account in seconds. It also has a simple way to withdraw funds from your PayPal account. That is transferred to your M-Pesa in at least two hours. A 3% conversion fee applies to withdrawals and 4% for top-ups. I still find this better than the other platforms as they boast of a better forex rate.

Here is how to link your PayPal and M-PESA accounts

  • Go to and log in with your PayPal email address.
  • When you successfully log in, enter your M-PESA Wallet phone number.
  • You’ll receive a 4-digit verification code sent to the mobile number. Enter this number to confirm and link the accounts.

Here is how to withdraw your Paypal money

  • Go to and on the dashboard click on withdraw from PayPal.
  • Enter the amount you would like to withdraw and click on continue to withdraw.
  • Verify the withdrawal and confirm it.
  • You’ll get a notification from Safaricom telling you your transaction from PayPal is being processed. Including how much you’ll receive and the duration.
  • After the duration lapses, you’ll get a transaction completed notification. And how much has been added to your M-Pesa.

During the withdrawal process, you will see the processing time. You are able to withdraw a maximum amount of 150,000 KES per transaction.

I hope this helps. Got questions? Shoot them at me. Did i miss something, let me know.

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