M-Pesa users will reverse cash sent to unintended recipients through text messages once Safaricom fully activates the service, which is currently on trial.
Safaricom , which processes 500 M-Pesa transactions per second, has been testing the SMS reversal service among its staff.
Wednesday it extended the trial to a few customers ahead of full launch “in a matter of weeks.”
Customers who send money to the wrong recipients will be required to send the transaction code, via text message, to the number 456.
The cash transfer will be suspended soon thereafter.
The telco says that its customer care representatives will in two hours confirm, from the sender and recipient, that the transaction was erroneous and then reverse the transaction where there is no dispute.
“Safaricom has introduced a service where you can reverse money sent to another person in error. Simply send the wrong M-Pesa transaction message to 456,” said a text message the telco sent to its subscribers Wednesday.
In October 2015, the firm introduced a service dubbed “Hakikisha” which gives customers a 15-second window to confirm the name of the intended recipient through a pop up on their mobile phones.
Subscribers can cancel transactions within this period at no cost. Safaricom’s mobile application also allows users to confirm their intended recipient even before they input their personal identification number (PIN).
Despite these features, M-Pesa reversal requests remain a big problem for Safaricom, with the operator receiving over 10,000 daily calls from customers seeking transaction reversals.
Safaricom is now seeking to reduce the time subscribers take to submit their reversal requests via phone calls to its customer care centre.
The time delay has seen some un-intended recipients withdraw funds sent to them erroneously.