Customers making payments through Lipa na M-Pesa will now have a security assurance after Safaricom announced that it will start hiding their full details when making payments at the end of June 2022.
This is in accordance with the Data Protection Act 2019 which came into law on 25th November 2019 and requires all organizations that handle such data including Safaricom and our Lipa Na M-PESA Partners to take action to minimize the use and transfer of sensitive customer data such as name and phone numbers
Safaricom says only the first name and a few digits of the customer’s phone numbers shall be displayed while making payments, in a bid to curb the trading of personal information to fraudsters.
“At the end of June, phone numbers and full names of subscribers making transactions will no longer be relayed to partners. Only the first name will be passed along and the phone number of the subscriber making the transaction will be masked (obfuscated). ” Safaricom in their press release.
Previously, the message would have appeared as OB57V1MMEV You have received Ksh 1,000.00 from Jane Rita Doe 254721345654 on 3/5/20 at 6:23 New M-PESA balance is Ksh2,345.00. However, with the new update, it will appear as OB57V1MMEV You have received Ksh 1,000.00 from Jane 2547XXXXX654 on 3/5/20 at 6:23 New M-PESA balance is Ksh2,345.00.
Customers/subscribers using the Lipa na M-Pesa platform leave their numbers and names to the respective merchants owning the till numbers.
This has posed a high-security risk as merchants are said to use the numbers to send unsolicited advertising through text messages or even sold to third parties.
The move comes amid revelations that more than a fifth of Kenyan companies shared customers’ financial and personal information without consent.
Read also; Banks Urge CBK to Restore Mpesa Charges.