A common challenge that customers face when making cash withdrawals from M-Pesa agents is entering the wrong agent number from the one intended. This means the withdrawal reflects at a different M-Pesa agent, causing the risk of losing cash or a lengthy time-consuming process of reversing the transaction.
To counter this challenge, Safaricom has introduced a ‘store number’ for every M-Pesa agent. One has to input the ‘store number’ right after the agent number and the transaction can only be successful if both entries reflect the correct M-Pesa agent. This eliminates the chance of customers making an error during the process.
This is yet another improvement on the company’s most profitable product which has grown to more than 160,000 agents countrywide over the years.
This verification process builds on Safaricom’s Hakikisha the company introduced in 2015 to allow customers to cancel a transaction should they make an error.
In its half-year report last September, Safaricom announced that M-Pesa had raked in Sh56.8 billion, accounting for 41.2 percent of the Sh138.1 billion total mobile service revenue. In comparison, voice service had recorded Sh39.8 billion.
There is also an ongoing discussion that could see M-Pesa split into a stand-alone company, in a restructuring that’s expected to improve the company’s fintech services.