Safaricom introduces name confirmation to prevent sending MPESA to a wrong number

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  • 4 years ago
  • Posted: October 15, 2015 at 6:31 pm

On any given day, Safaricom receives an average of 12,000  calls from MPESA users asking for their MPESA transactions to be cancelled. That translates to an average of 4,380,000 calls every year. Most of these transactions involve sending MPESA to a wrong number, and it is a huge problem to the MPESA subscriber. Although Safaricom has done its best to ensure that every request for cancellation is effected, the sender and/or the recipient still undergo a lot of inconveniences especially in emergency cases.

To lessen the number of wrong send transactions on MPESA, Safaricom introduced an automated method for retrieving numbers straight from the SIM card instead of having to input them to the “Enter Number” field manually. This was a good move but it doesn’t solve the problem as almost everybody has moved away from saving phone numbers on SIM cards to saving them on phone’s internal storage or in the cloud. And talking about saving numbers in the cloud, I don’t get it when guys that have used smartphones for years allege that they lost my number with their phones. A quick advise – if you haven’t saved your contacts in Gmail or in another cloud storage facility, please do so immediately after reading this article, you’ll thank me a year later.

Back to Safaricom – for some reason they haven’t been able to come up with a method to auto retrieve numbers that are saved in a phone’s memory to be used on MPESA STK. For those using smartphones, there is an App, the TumaPesa App, that can help you copy paste the contact you want to send MPESA to and it works magic. Safaricom ought to incorporate the functions of TumaPesa App in their M-Ledger App.

To help everyone including those without smartphones, Safaricom is already rolling out a new confirmation step that allows MPESA users to verify the name of the person that will be receiving the sent money. For example, if your recipient is your mom and she is called Jane Sike, after completing the standard MPESA steps including pressing SEND, MPESA will bring up a pop up screen that will ask you to confirm if you are sure that Jane Sike is the person you intended to send the money to. Once verified, you will be able to press OK one more time for the transaction to be executed.

The new and final confirmation stage has been dubbed Hakikisha, and in a press statement sent to media houses, Safircom explained that Hakikisha, which has been under pilot for the last one month, will be rolled out in phases with a view to covering the entire 21.7 million M-PESA customer base by October 30th, 2015.

On any given day we receive an average of 12,000 calls from our M-PESA customers seeking to have reversals done for transactions made to the wrong recipients. While a majority of these are resolved successfully, we appreciate that this is a major inconvenience for our customers, said Safaricom’s Director of Financial Services, Betty Mwangi.

Hakikisha will not be limited to sending money. Those who buy goods and services using the Lipa na MPESA feature, or those withdrawing from agents, will also be able to confirm the names of businesses they intend to make payments to or withdraw from.

This is yet another testament to our commitment to ensure that we know our customers intimately and deliver to them the most relevant products- which is one of the objectives that we set out to achieve during this financial year. More initiatives are underway. Explained Ms Betty.

Safaricom further explained that the new enhancement is as a result of improved system capability after migration of M-PESA servers to Kenya earlier this year. The intended recipients’ names will be queried against the official records registered by the customers and PayBill partners, ensuring that customers no longer send funds to the wrong numbers or organizations.

Now this part is very important – Hakikisha will be suspended if no transaction is completed after five consecutive trials by typing 1 to STOP the transaction.

 

 

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Odipo Riaga
Managing Editor at KachTech Analytics Ltd
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Odipo Riaga is a Technology Blogger interested in emerging tech such as VR and AR, AI, Life Extension, Exponential Biotech, Immortality, Cyborgs and many others.
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