09 June, 2015

SimbaPay launches world’s first international access to M-Pesa PayBill

The first product in the world that allows Kenyans living abroad to make M-Pesa PayBill payments


 SimbaPay – a leading digital money transfer provider – today announced the launch of the first product in the world that allows Kenyans living abroad to make M-Pesa PayBill payments. This is a new addition to the existing SimbaPay platform.

 M-Pesa PayBill is an M-Pesa service that has previously only been available to Safaricom M-Pesa subscribers in Kenya and allows the subscribers to pay hunderds of vendors via M-Pesa. By SimbaPay granting PayBill access to its customers, Kenyans abroad can now also pay hundreds of vendors and utility companies in Kenya directly via M-Pesa PayBill.

Nyasinga Onyancha, CEO for SimbaPay noted that “Our customers want to pay vendors in Kenya faster and without having to go through friends and family”.  “This new product allows them to do just that, especially for time sensitive payments such as those to hospitals, stock brokers and the like”.

SimbaPay customers will not require a Safaricom phone number or M-Pesa registration to pay vendors via PayBill as is currently the case for M-Pesa subscribers living in Kenya. SimbaPay charges zero fees for its instant money transfers to M-Pesa PayBill numbers.

Kenyans living in the UK with a bank account, debit card or credit card will be able to use the SimbaPay app to make M-Pesa PayBill payments from any mobile phone, tablet or computer. Transfers made using SimbaPay to M-Pesa PayBill numbers are credited instantly. The service has already been rolled out to Kenyans living in the UK with other EU countries slated in the near future.

For ease of use, the majority of M-Pesa PayBill numbers and vendors have also been pre-loaded on to the SimbaPay platform which eliminates the need for customers having to remember a vendor’s PayBill number. At the time of making an M-Pesa Paybill transfer using SimbaPay, customers will be required to select the vendor to be paid and then enter their account number with the vendor. For example if paying a hospital bill, the patient number will be required.

SimbaPay launched free, instant transfers to Nigeria  in May 2015 and continues to disrupt the cross-border remittance industry with its focus on speed and convenience.

The SimbaPay app can be downloaded for free from the Apple or Android app stores.

19 May, 2015

Kenyans Peculiar Travel Habits

The following info-graphics from a report published by Jovago Kenya's premier online booking website is quite telling. Question-Do you agree with it?



Kenyan Travel Habits: Info graphics

Travel and tourism is the major source of foreign exchange in Kenya, as well as a major contributor to the national GDP. Although hampered by numerous challenges, tourism still remains at the forefront of the economy. With such an important role on the national plate, it’s only prudent for both government and private stakeholders to keep abreast with global developments in the industry. One of the major fronts include tapping into e-tourism, moving away from the traditional tourism trends to the steadily rising world of savvy travelers. Local companies like Jovago.com are actively re-joining this call through ensuring that even the most remotely located hotel can be accessed online, therefore boosting its global presence and leveraging on online marketing. Here is an info graphic indicating Kenyan online travel habits based on bookings made on www.jovago.com

Across the country and the continent as well, costs of hotels vary depending on the type of rooms and services that accompany them. The survey carried through January to April reveals the most expensive room booked within this period at $328,850 while the least expensive went at $9 only!


Room Rates







Across the country and the continent as well, costs of hotels vary depending on the type of rooms and services that accompany them. The survey carried through January to April reveals the most expensive room booked within this period at $328,850 while the least expensive went at $9 only!

Preferred Payment Methods









The advent and globally-enviable growth of mobile payments in Kenya is well illustrated in the payment trends of guests who book accommodation via www.jovago.com. Data recorded shows that 60% of guests prefer to wrap up the transaction via mobile or card payments, while the remaining 40% opt to pay on arrival. 

Length of Stay
The average guest will usually take two days/nights in a hotel; this in most cases are either on business trips or a quick-fix long weekend for most working middle class. We however notice that the trend greatly changes with the purpose of travel. Vacations are generally longer, with the longest stay going for 30 days.




Preferred Booking Durations






With an emerging middle class popular for hitting the ground running, it’s no mean task to have a 63% of our traveler’s population booking consistently booking in advance of about seven days to check in date. However, the spontaneous streak is still very live, with a notable 27% placing bookings just hours to check in. A small but extremely cautious fraction of guests (6%) do book more

Room Type Preference




Most guests prefer booking into a double room, which will mostly accommodate couples. Solo travelers on the other side will prefer single rooms-with most guests likely to be on business trips. Most of the other rooms (4%) are favorable for family stays as, upon requests may even have space for extra beds or cots. The biggest room occupancy on www.jovago.com hotels is 8 people.

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