These tough economic times can make life unbearable, squeezing the joy out of living. That is until I heard about Safaricom’s standing orders. Generally, standing orders are pretty easy to reinstate. All you have to do is go online and follow a few banking steps and voila! You’re automated.
I forgive you for not thinking Safaricom’s standing order is epic. But just ask yourself, how many times have you paid out of M-Pesa? How many of those times are regular payments that you make monthly?
- Automated payments allow you to set up recurring payments for anything from paying Mama Mboga to sustaining that shamba boy in shags. You’ve probably used it to pay off your loans, subscriptions, and bills and to send money to your SACCO or bank account for savings. If you have invested in the NSE, you can transmit a regular amount of money to your CDS account and build your investments almost passively. Loop encourages “Scheduling your business standing orders and direct debits.”
- Once these have been configured with specified dates free your mind for other important stuff. We make an estimated average of 35,000 remotely conscious decisions each day. Imagine the exhaustion. Decision fatigue – “A state of mental overload that can impede a person’s ability to continue making decisions,” makes an automated payment a blessed thing. Mainly because the American Medical Association reinforces this in What Doctors Wish Patients Knew About Decision Fatigue. A psychiatrist says the more decisions you have to make, the more fatigue you develop, and the worse your decisions will get. Automated payments = less fatigue.
- Obviously, standing orders are highly convenient. Safaricom users can schedule payments in advance, ensuring that bills and obligations are met on time even if they are busy or traveling. Say goodbye to late payments, penalties, and service disruptions. As we wait for these standing orders to be rolled out, let’s hope Safaricom will consider the pause impact of a standing order. If Audible can let me suspend my subscriptions for six months twice a year, so should M-Pesa allow me to put a hold on my automated payments.
- Financial awareness leads to financial discipline, and nothing is as tempting as telling yourself you will send that money at the right time because you trust yourself. Automating payments takes the mental workload off you, allowing you to allocate funds for savings, investments, or debt repayment. Keeping the money out of sight means keeping it out of mind. “You will now base your budget and spending based on the money that’s left after the transfer happens. This makes you far less likely to dip into your would-be savings for a clothing sale or brunch, ensuring that your money stays where it belongs — in the bank and growing,” states Business Insider’s article, 4 Reasons Automating Your Savings Makes It Easier To Build Wealth. Automating your payments also keeps you honest, transparent, and yes, rather disciplined.
- By a show of hands, who loves budgeting? Knowing your fixed expenses such as rent, wages or even Netflix means they could be automatically covered by standing orders. If you are in the throes of financial planning, this works squarely in your favour. In fact, one of the biggest trends in personal finance right now is digital financial management tools. Leverage the Safaricom standing order in your favour by turning standing order prompts into your very own personal finance app. According to The Smart Wallet, 99 per cent of Gen Z and 98 per cent of Millennials are now using a digital banking app, says The Rise Of Personal Finance Apps Since The Pandemic. Make Safaricom work harder for you. After all, budgeting is about managing your money and they are letting you have at it.
- M-Pesa has been hailed as a trailblazer for its capacity to aid financial inclusion. Mobile money services are accessible to people who may not have access to traditional banking services. Why shouldn’t they enjoy standing order facilities? “Mobile money remains a key savings channel. In 2022, around 60 per cent of MMPs offered users a savings account. Half of these providers did not offer a savings product in 2021. The World Bank Global Findex 2021 found that 15 per cent of adults in Sub-Saharan Africa, or 39 per cent of all mobile money account owners in the region, saved using a mobile money account.” The State Of The Industry Report On Mobile Money 2023 further adds that “During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, mobile money played an important role as millions of people used digital payments – many for the first time – for their daily needs. As the impact of the pandemic began to wear off, mobile money services continued to grow faster than pre-COVID rates.” Bottom line – you don’t need a bank account to set up a standing order.
- Personalisation is the future of customer delight. Users can tailor standing orders to their specific needs, setting the frequency, amount, and recipient for each automated payment. Financial flexibility also gives you a sense of financial control. It also means when your circumstances change, you can revise your financial situation accordingly. And, while Safaricom may not directly state this, customers who feel their financial requirements are being looked after give the brand their trust and loyalty. Forbes states that “… – the most forward-thinking businesses are using automation, self-service, personalisation and human interaction to strike the right balance for a positive customer experience. The key is knowing when and where each will offer the most value.” It is evident when is now.