Sunday, February 25, 2024

Mpesa To Lockout Unregistered Users

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Safaricom, will no longer allow unregistered mobile money accounts to transact via mpesa. The company becomes the first telco to issue such a directive in the country.

Part of Safaricom’s statement on X said ” Effective February 5th, 2024, you will no longer be able to send money from M-PESA to unregistered mobile money customers “

This move will affect unregistered Mobile Money users on other platforms such a Airtel Money and T-Kash as well. Usually, mpesa customers could send money to unregistered mobile money customers.

Industry regulator, the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) has in the past enforced provisions of the Kenya Information and Communications (Registration of SIM cards) Regulations, 2015. The act requires all mobile operators to collect certain details of their subscribers during registration and update any changes made thereafter to those details.

This led to a SIM card registration exercise in 2021 that was later extended to the last quarter of 2022. SIM cards that were not properly registered were meant to be switched off by the telcos after the deadline lapsed.

MPesa Fraud

CA’s action were triggered by use of unregistered Sim cards to carry out illegal activities. This could also be the motive behind Safaricom’s decision. M-pesa fraud in particular has been a persistent menace in Kenya. Fraudulent people often make calls to unsuspecting mobile money users and trick them into sending money.

In other instances, fake business accounts on social media push would be clients to send money in order to make a purchase. Unfortunately, after the funds are sent, the fake business accounts disappear having not delivered a product. As the M-pesa customers are not registered, tracing them is a tedious task that seldom bears fruit.

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