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How Safaricom's latest update will prevent false M-Pesa reversal

Small-scale traders, matatu touts are some of the individuals who have fallen prey of the scam

A Safaricom Plc M-Pesa mobile money service logo at a retail kiosk in central Nairobi, Kenya, on Tuesday, May 11, 2021. (Photographer: Patrick Meinhardt/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

A new update by Safaricom will prevent fraudsters from reversing M-Pesa transactions as the cash recipient will receive an automated call from the communications company asking them to either approve or decline the reversal request.

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In the event the reversal is approved, the funds will be sent to the sender but if it's rejected then both sender and recipient will have to prove their cases.

“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 in part indicated on its website.

This new feature will have a huge boost to Kenyans who rely on M-Pesa especially business persons, small-scale traders and matatu touts. The latter especially have had to deal with a number of fraudulent customers who immediately after disembarking from the matatu reverse the transaction.

The latest update comes at a time when Kenyans are dealing with a new scam in town known as Sim swap. President Uhuru Kenyatta recently singled out sim swapping and the typical “tuma kwa hii number” syndicate.

Sim swap, a modern form of fraud that sees fraudsters go to the extent of registering an existing number on a new SIM card in order to intercept notifications, one-time passwords, online banking profile and transactions as well as changing the account security settings.

A new wave of crime is equally emerging that involves things like Sim swapping and the typical ‘tuma kwa hii namba’ syndicate, all of which we must deal with properly,” he said. The President was speaking on June 13, when he officially opened the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) National Forensic Laboratory.

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