TumaPesa puts a stop to sending MPESA to wrong numbers

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Mobile money users in Kenya – and the rest of the word – have one major challenge: to send money only to land in the wrong hands. Many Kenyans using MPESA or Airtel Money have at one time lost cash because they sent it to a wrong recipient.

TumaPesa is an app that allows access to SIM Toolkit thus enabling a user to perform daily transactions faster and easier. Other than MPESA, the developer notes that the app can be used for other service providers such as Airtel, Equitel, Tigo, Vodacom, and MTN in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.

Developed by Ujuzi Code Limited, the app was among the first ones developed to deal with the problem of MPESA users sending money to wrong numbers because of incorrect digits. It operates on android 2.2 and beyond and is available for free download from Google Play Store as well as from other third party download sites.

The key features of Tuma Pesa are:

  • Access to MPESA SIM wallet conveniently
  • Ability to copy number from contact and launch MPESA to send cash
  • Ability to save frequently used numbers as favourites and send them money
  • Ability to create and save Paybill or Lipa Na MPESA numbers within the app

I began using TumaPesa last week on my Safaricom line to test its ability to do what it says it does. I must agree that I was impressed with how it seamlessly launched my MPESA when I tapped on the app and tapped on the contact I intended to send the cash to. The contact is displayed at the top of the phone as you do your transaction. As opposed to Safaricom’s own feature where one can search and load the number on the MPESA menu and send cash, this app only allows you to copy the number already displayed at the top. It has worked perfectly well for me on this front.

Its interface is sleek. I love that. And it is FREE.

I must, however, admit that I was disappointed with its inability to provide for the Lipa na MPESA numbers. As it is designed, one has to save the numbers himself on the phone in order to use the Pay bill service as none is pre-installed in the system. I have however been informed that the App creator is working with Pay Bill and Lipa na MPESA merchants to include their numbers in the App. “The pay bill numbers and Lipa na MPESA numbers should be expected to be in the App in a few months”, said James Wahome, the TumaPesa developer.

That the app is able to be used on other mobile money providers such as Airtel is commendable. My colleague Odipo Riaga who tested the app on Airtel Money informed me that the experience is as seamless as using it for MPESA services.

I have seen a review on the Play Store page where someone claims that with a dual SIM phone, it only recognizes the primary line. Well, this should be fine for any phone app. One has to change between the SIM cards to use the other as the primary line. If the app developer has an ingenious way of dealing with this, it is fine with me. Otherwise, I do not see this as a problem.

Can the app be made for other mobile OS such as Windows and iOS too? That would be great. Try out to TumaPesa then send us your feedback.

What is your opinion on the topic?
Fredrick Ombako
Fredrick Ombako is a research consultant at ResearchPro Solutions and Director at Bukas Accountancy & Consulting Limited. He consults mostly for NGOs and county governments by conducting research studies, Monitoring & Evaluation, and Project Management. You may reach him on 0721977108
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