Kenya’s largest mobile network operator Safaricom has announced it will stop allowing money transfers from its popular M-Pesa mobile money service to unregistered users, in a move likely to impact a huge number starting next week.
In a notice to customers on Saturday, Safaricom said “effective February 5th, 2024, you will no longer be able to send money from M-Pesa to unregistered mobile money customers.”
The company stated registered M-Pesa users will still be able to send money to other providers like Airtel and T-Kash.
Safaricom encouraged unregistered customers to officially sign up for mobile money services by visiting an agent or store with identification documents.
“We encourage customers who are not registered for mobile money services to register by visiting a Safaricom Shop or M-Pesa Agent with their Identity Document,” the notice read.
With over 30 million active users, Safaricom’s M-Pesa has revolutionized payments and financial access in Kenya. However, many unregistered individuals still rely on receiving transfers from registered accounts. cutting them off raises financial inclusion concerns.
Safaricom stated the move comes after allowing interoperability between different mobile money services in recent years.
Safaricom, however, did not indicate the reason behind the move.