Safaricom Rolls Out New Feature to Curb Fraudulent M-Pesa Reversals



Safaricom is rolling out an approval feature seeking to put a stop to fraudulent reversals. The company said recipients will now be required to approve M-Pesa reversals before they are concluded.

In the new feature, an M-Pesa reversal will be immediately followed by an automated call from the telco to the recipient, asking them to approve or decline. The cash will be held by Safaricom and if the recipient approves the reversal, the cash will be released back to the sender. If they decline the reversal, then they will need to prove their cases

The move follows increased cases of fraudulent reversals, leading to many businesses declining M-Pesa as a form of payment. During the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic, the government mobilized more people to make paperless payment as a way to curb the spread of the virus.

Read: Court Dismisses SIM Swap Victim’s Sh4,310 Case against Safaricom

Many subscribers started paying their fares through M-Pesa, but a few months down the line, the Matatus started putting up “No M-Pesa” stickers, opting for the traditional method of hard cash. The matatu conductors stated that they had began making losses from commuters who sent money, only to reverse it after arriving at their destinations.

Although Safaricom has in the past followed up reversals with a phone call from agents, that was not always the case for all reversals. The new feature now employs the use of an automated call that seeks to approve or decline the reversal before it is concluded.

Read also: Murang’a MCA Aspirant Arrested for Stealing Sh283,000 from Reveler via M-Pesa

“Within a few seconds, you will be notified that the transaction reversal has been started, and an update will be shared within two hours. Safaricom will at this point begin engaging the second party, for the reversal.” Safaricom said in a write-up on its website.

Reversals are done by sending the erroneous M-Pesa message to 456. A subscriber can also call Safaricom’s customer care at 100, and provide details accompanying the reversal request.

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Written by Vanessa Murrey

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