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Safaricom delays plan to hide Lipa Na M-Pesa contact details

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By Judith Gicobi

Safaricom has experienced a setback in its strategy to hide Lipa na M-Pesa consumers’ information. The colossal telco cited technical issues as the reason for the postponement of the deployment, which had been scheduled for the end of June.

The function is supposed to aid in the protection of client information from criminals. Safaricom’s new idea is to reveal only the customer’s first name and a few digits of their phone number when they make a Lipa na M-Pesa payment, essentially hiding their contact information.

“As an update to our previous communication regarding data minimisation on the M-Pesa API, we will be making adjustments to accommodate several of our partners who are experiencing technical challenges integrating the minimised APIs,” Safaricom told merchants.

The telco has not provided a new deadline for the planned integration, but has stated that merchants would continue to receive money as usual.

“As such, partners will continue to receive customer phone numbers through the M-Pesa API beyond the earlier communicated deadline of 30th June 2022,” it said.

“This will ensure partners can continue to adequately process payments as we assist them to resolve resulting technical challenges.”

The move complies with data protection regulations, which ban businesses from sharing personal information with advertisers or exposing it to potential scammers.

At the moment, thousands of merchants have access to the phone numbers and names of consumers who pay for goods and services.

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