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Safaricom launches new feature to stop fraudulent M-Pesa reversals

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By Judith Gicobi

An approval feature is being implemented by Safaricom in an effort to stop false reversals. Recipients will now need to approve M-Pesa reversals before they are completed.

An automated call from the telco to the beneficiary will be made right after an M-Pesa reversal in the new function, asking them to accept or decline.

If the recipient agrees to the reverse, Safaricom will hold the money and release it back to the sender. They will have to provide proof for their claims if they reject the reversal.

The decision was made in response to an upsurge in fraudulent reversals, which caused many establishments to stop accepting M-Pesa as a mode of payment.

In order to stop the spread of the virus during the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic, the government encouraged more individuals to use paperless payment methods.

A few months after several customers began using M-Pesa to pay their fares. But the Matatus began displaying “No M-Pesa” stickers in favor of the more conventional manner of accepting hard currency.

The matatu conductors argued that they had started to lose money from commuters who sent money but then reversed it once they reached their destinations.

Although agents from Safaricom have occasionally called to follow up on reversals in the past, that wasn’t always the case.

The updated feature now makes use of an automated call that attempts to accept or reject the reversal prior to it being completed.

“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.

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By sending the incorrect M-Pesa message to 456 you can reverse the transaction. A subscriber may also call Safaricom’s customer service line at 100 and give further information along with the request for a reversal.

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