How to avoid losing money when withdrawing from an M-PESA agent

Safaricom has taken all measures to make sure their customers are adequately served so you have nothing to worry about. [iStockphoto]

Everyone has bad days, but nothing can make a day worse than trying to withdraw money from an agent and accidentally sending it to the wrong agent number instead.

Saying that it feels like the universe is conspiring against you is an understatement. In this economic situation, no one wants to lose any money.

Here is how you can make sure you have sent money to the right agent number:

1) Use the M-PESA app

The M-PESA app gives a little more room to verify your agent withdrawal number. If you withdraw from the same place often enough, it autosaves the code and relieves you of the task of inputting it anew every time and risking getting one-digit wrong.

2) Make sure you have the details right

Safaricom has added a Store Number for M-PESA Agent withdrawals to avoid customers being inconvenienced through accidental withdrawals at the wrong agent. In the new M-PESA agent withdrawal process, you will be required to key in the Agent Number, Store Number, Amount and PIN. The details will then be validated to ensure that funds are withdrawn from the correct agent.

Safaricom has already deployed the solution on the M-PESA app, M-PESA business app, M-PESA on *334#, and is in the process of updating customer SIM cards with the new menu.

Customers who receive the SIM update will get an automatic M-PESA prompt on their phones to accept the new menu. If you're feeling impatient, you can update your sim card manually to download the latest menu by going to the M-PESA menu on your phone, Select My Account, Update Customer Menu, Enter M-PESA PIN, and then Send.

3) Make sure you have your ID

Identification is paramount when trying to withdraw money from an MPESA agent. It is a Safaricom regulation to ensure the details you give match those on your ID card. To swiftly withdraw your money from an agent, make sure to carry your original ID.

4) Double-check your surroundings

Due to the harsh economic times the country is experiencing, people are desperate right now and looking for easy ways to make a money. Always make sure that the agent's shop is in a brightly lit place and surrounded by people. Always be aware of your surroundings and remember to keep your MPESA PIN confidential.

5) Let Safaricom know immediately

Despite all precautions, you may still end up accidentally sending your money to the wrong agent number. If this happens, here are the steps to follow to get your money back:

1) Send an SMS to 2530 with the transaction number and you will receive a confirmation in seconds.

2)Use USSD Code 234 to Reverse. Dial *234# on your Till Line.

3)Call Customer Care on 234 again with the reversal request.

Safaricom has taken all measures to make sure their customers are adequately served so you have nothing to worry about.

Written by Grace Gikonyo.