Safaricom will introduce a new feature blocking customer contact details when making payments through ‘Lipa na M-Pesa’.
This is meant to protect the customers’ personal information being traded to advertisers or fraudsters.
According to the Business Daily, the telco will only display the first and last few digits of a phone number, blocking the middle and effectively hiding the contact of the customer.
“The plan is to hide your number where it will display, say the first two or three numbers and the last ones and block out the middle, just the way banks do,” an executive at Safaricom told Business Daily.
The new feature will be similar to the model used by banks, where part of an account number is blocked when an online transaction is done.
‘Lipa na M-Pesa’, which was launched in June 2013, has grown over the recent years as a good number of business merchants are using the service.
According to Financial Sector Deepening (FSD) Kenya, the total value of transactions made to merchants through Lipa na M-Pesa increased by over 30 per cent between July and September 2020 compared to the previous quarter.
There was a 29 per cent increase in the number of active ‘Lipa na M-Pesa’ merchants.
FSD noted that the amount of money exchanged between businesses and customers via Safaricom’s Lipa na M-Pesa avenue was more than all the money circulating outside banks
The use of mobile money transactions went up last year following the outbreak of Covid-19 as customers were afraid of coming into contact with contaminated notes and coins.