Safaricom has introduced a number verification feature on MPESA to minimise cases of users sending money to unintended recipients.
The new feature, called Hakikisha, has been piloted for one month and will now be rolled out in phases to reach the 21.7 million users of MPESA by the end of October 2015.
Safaricom’s Director of Financial Services Betty Mwangi said, “On any given day, we receive an average of 12,000 calls from our MPESA customers seeking to have reversals done for transactions made to the wrong recipients,”
Ms Mwangi added that although a majority of these cases are resolved successfully, the practice remains a major inconvenience for users, necessitating the new function.
Using the new system when sending money, the sender will be presented with a pop-up screen that contains the details of the person the money will be sent to just before the actual transaction is completed.This will then give the sender 15 seconds to type 1 and press OK on its menu to cancel the transaction if the name displayed on the pop-up is not the intended recipient.
The pop-up verification feature will also apply to other MPESA transactions, including payments on Lipa Na MPESA and agent withdrawals.