Safaricom’s Lipa na M-MPESA service has undoubtedly revolutionized the way Kenyans make transactions for various services and goods. With a tap of a button, you can easily pay for your utility bills such as electricity, internet service or even book for air tickets. But with all the pros, MPESA has increasingly come under scrutiny for exposing personal details of subscribers such as contact details that have often landed in the hands of fraudsters. This has remained a concern to Safaricom for the longest time, at least until now.
Starting at the end of June, the telco has confirmed that it’ll start redacting some of the information shared with vendors in a bid to protect personal details of users. Some vendors including MPESA operators have been accused of trading this information with advertisers as well as fraudsters, who proceed to contact them with their various unsolicited intentions.
How Safaricom plans to protect personal details of subscribers on Lipa na M-PESA service
According to the telco, part of the information previously shared with vendors will now be redacted to effectively protect them against fraud. Instead of displaying the full names of users, only the first name will be displayed alongside a redacted phone number. It’s a clever way that has been in use for a long side by other financial institutions such as banks.
Major Banks in the country do not share all the details of customer data such as their account numbers whenever they pay using cards. Safaricom is keen on adopting the same format to conform with the data protection act enacted in 2019 to protect Kenyan’s privacy.
Example of information that will be displayed when paying via Lipa na MPESA
While in the past full details of the subscriber were shared whenever someone paid using Lipa na MPESA, only the first name will be passed along and a redacted phone number of the subscriber making the transaction. Example; if someone named Jane Doe with a phone number +254720000000 makes a payment, the only data that will be passed along is [Jane, +2547XXXXX000].