M-Pesa ‘store number’ to reduce cash loss


M-Pesa ‘store number’ to reduce cash loss


A woman withdraws money from Mpesa shop in Nyeri town. PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI | NMG

M-Pesa users will avoid the pain of withdrawing cash from the wrong intermediary stores after Safaricom introduced the extra step of verifying the entry of the ‘store number’ immediately after the entry of the ‘agent number’.

The added feature aims to address the widespread issue of users entering the wrong agent number, resulting in a withdrawal at another point of sale, risking cash loss.

In the new process, the unique agent and store numbers will have to match for a withdrawal transaction to go through, meaning there is no room for error.

Previously, customers had to contact the telco and initiate a reversal process for funds mistakenly withdrawn from the wrong stores, which was time-consuming and not ideal in an emergency.

READ: Safaricom reveals tax fears in plan to divest from M-Pesa

In October 2015, Safaricom introduced a service called Hakike that gives M-Pesa users a 15-second window to confirm the name of their preferred paying agent via a pop-up window on their mobile phones.

Through this service, subscribers can cancel transactions free of charge within the period. It also allows customers sending money directly to other users to confirm the names of their recipients before completing the transaction.

M-Pesa has been the telco giant’s leading cash cow in recent years following steady growth over voice and text revenue.

In the half year ending September 2022, Safaricom booked Sh39.8 billion from voice service, while revenue from M-Pesa reached Sh56.8 billion, which translated to 41.2 per cent of total mobile revenue from Sh138.1 billion.

The service employs thousands of agents and is used by a large number of merchants to process payments, making it a key player in the national payment system.

“There are more than 160,000 agents nationwide ready to serve you wherever you are, with many more added daily. Our agents are always ready to make your Safaricom experience a satisfying one,” Safaricom said on its website.

Last October, Ethiopian authorities approved Safaricom’s introduction of M-Pesa to a market of more than 110 million people.

The entry into the new market marked the beginning of a financial revolution in a country whose banking sector has no means of transferring funds between banks.

READ: Safaricom earns Sh50 billion from M-Pesa unit

Safaricom is considering separating its mobile money service from its telecommunications business in a reorganization that will see the two companies operate as separate subsidiaries of the same company.

Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa confirmed that while the board of directors is yet to approve the demerger transaction, it has given its support to management to proceed with the process.

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