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How do customers register for M-PESA?
Go to an authorized M-PESA Agent and:
- Upgrade your SIM if necessary at a fee of KShs. 20 (All new Safaricom SIM cards have the M-PESA menu)
- Register for M-PESA for FREE: You will be required to give the agent your Safaricom mobile number, your first and last name, your date of birth, and show an original identification document.
- To register for M-PESA, you will be required to present one of the following original identification documents: National ID, Passport, Military ID, Diplomatic ID or Alien ID.
- You will be asked to attach a copy of your ID to your registration form* if you intend to receive more than KShs. 100,000 into your M-PESA account per calendar year (January – December).
- Activate your M-PESA menu on your account using the Start Key PIN sent by M-PESA
How do I activate my M-PESA account after the registration process?
Upon registration, you will receive a 4-digit one-time PIN called a Start Key. You will then activate your M-PESA account using the following instructions:
- Go to Safaricom menu and select M-PESA
- Select ‘Activate’ or ‘Wezesha’
- Enter the ‘Start Key’ (4-digit number received from M-PESA)
- Create a new PIN (a preferred 4-digit number that will be your PIN)
- Confirm the PIN by entering the 4-digit number again
- Enter your ID number (same as the one the agent entered upon registration)
- M-PESA will send a menu to your phone, press OK on receipt.
Must I have my SIM Card replaced before registering for M-PESA?
You will only be required to replace your SIM card if you have an old Safaricom SIM (black or light green in color) which does not have the ‘Safaricom’ Item under the menu. If you have a new generation SIM card (deep green in color), registration will be done immediately. The agent will copy your SIM card contacts to the new SIM before effecting a replacement.
Why do I need an ID to register or transact at an agent outlet?
As a regulatory requirement by the Central Bank of Kenya, you are required to present your original ID document to the M-PESA agent to register, withdraw or deposit cash. Acceptable ID documents include: Kenyan National ID, Valid Passport, Military ID, Diplomatic ID or Alien ID.
Is a photocopy of my passport or ID sufficient to register, or do cash transactions at an Agent? No – The agent will need to see your original identification documents as listed above. (Driving Licenses are not acceptable)
What happens if someone registers my number for M-PESA by mistake?
If for any reason your M-PESA account is erroneously registered under somebody else, you will need to call M-PESA Customer Support on line 234 to request for your details to be changed. You will be taken through a vetting process for verification purposes.
Can I register for M-PESA if I have a SIM from another network provider?
No. M-PESA is available for Safaricom mobile users only. Other network subscribers will have to churn to Safaricom. If you do not have a Safaricom SIM Card, we will be happy to provide you one at current market rates.
What is the difference between a registered M-PESA customer and an unregistered customer?
An M-PESA customer’s SIM-Card has the full M-PESA menu and is able to carry out all the services described above. An unregistered customer is one that receives money from an M-PESA customer and does not have to be a Safaricom subscriber. An unregistered customer can only get the cash sent to him/her but cannot carry out other M-PESA transactions.
Are there any charges for SIM Swaps?
Yes, you will be charged a fee of KShs. 20 to carry out a SIM swaps.
What services are available?
- Deposit cash (third party deposits are not allowed)
- Withdraw money from any M-PESA agent outlet or participating ATM network
- Transfer (send) money to any other mobile phone user, even if they are not a Safaricom subscriber
- Buy Safaricom Airtime – for self or other safaricom subscribers
- Pay Bills
- Manage your M-PESA account (i.e. check balance, call customer care, change M-PESA PIN, change secret word, change language and update menu).
*It is important to confirm if the company one intends to pay a bill accepts payments via M-PESA before transferring cash. They should give you their ‘special company code’ or business number which you will enter into your M-PESA menu when making the payment. They should advise if there are any applicable charges.
How does M-PESA work?
To load money into your M-PESA account you need to go to an M-PESA Agent and make a cash deposit which results in electronic money being transferred into your M-PESA account (This is confirmed by an SMS received by both the Agent and the Customer).You can then conveniently transfer money to other mobile phone users by sms transaction.
To withdraw cash from your M-PESA account or (for unregistered customers to get cash), you need to go to an M-PESA agent and make an electronic transfer to the agent who will exchange this for cash.
Do I need to pay any service charges for having an M-PESA account?
No. M-PESA charges you on a pay-as-you-go basis every time you do a transaction – refer to Tariff for details. You're only charged for the transactions you have initiated.
I already have a bank account. Can I access it using M-PESA?
No. M-PESA is completely separate to any other account you may have.
Does M-PESA work across networks?
Only Safaricom customers can register for M-PESA. However the person you are sending money to does not need to have an M-PESA account or be a Safaricom subscriber. However, the M-PESA service is cheaper if you send money to a registered M-PESA customer.
Can I use M-PESA if my line is expired?
You cannot use M-PESA if your line is expired since M-PESA is dependent on the Safaricom SMS service. You will however be able to use M-PESA to perform top-ups, even if your line is expired. Topping up will make your line active again.
Can I top up if I am a Safaricom Advantage customer?
Safaricom Advantage customers will be able to top up other Safaricom Pre-paid accounts but not their own account.
Can I buy airtime through M-PESA if I’m out of the country?
Yes. As long as there is M-PESA value in your account and you have Roaming on your line.
Can I use my Safaricom airtime to top up my M-PESA account?
Your M-PESA account is completely separate from your Safaricom airtime. You cannot buy M-PESA value using airtime. However you can use your M-PESA value to buy airtime for your own or another Safaricom subscriber's phone. Safaricom subscribers do not need to be registered for M-PESA to receive airtime from you.
Can I top up a Celtel number?
No. At present, you can only buy airtime for Safaricom numbers.
How do I get my start up key, if I forget and have no funds?
If a customer needs a new start key, he will need to deposit money into his M-PESA account. He can do this WITHOUT an M-PESA menu on his phone, as long as he is registered.
What is a Start Key?
It’s a 4-digit code received from M-PESA upon registration. The code is used to activate your M-PESA account. The system will automatically prompt you to change your start key to a 4-digit code that will from then on be used as your M-PESA PIN.
When will my start key expire?
Start keys do not expire.
What happens if I do not get an SMS from M-PESA confirming the transaction? On occasion there is a delay in receiving your SMS from M-PESA for more than 20 minutes, call the customer service line 234 who will advise on the status of your transaction on the M-PESA system.
What happens if the Safaricom network is down?
As M-PESA relies on SMS messages, if the Safaricom SMS service is down, M-PESA will not function.
What happens when I lose my M-PESA SIM?
Call line 234 to have your account suspended. Proceed and get a SIM swap to retain your number and activate your SIM as normal using your previous M-PESA PIN you will receive your menu once more to continue enjoying the service. Note that you will need to call customer services to release your account to enable you activate it properly.
How do I reactivate my M-PESA account after a SIM replacement?
- Go to the Safaricom menu in the SIM card menu and select M-PESA
- Select ‘activate’ or ‘wezesha’
- Enter your current M-PESA PIN when asked to enter the Start Key
- Enter any 4-digit PIN (existing M-PESA PIN accepted if you wish to reuse it)
- Confirm the PIN by entering the same PIN again
- Enter your ID number (same as the one the agent entered upon registration)
- Press ‘confirm’ to send the request to M-PESA
- You will receive the M-PESA menu on your SIM menu and a welcome message indicating your current M-PESA balance.
- To reactivate the M-PESA service after a SIM replacement you will require your current M-PESA PIN number and Your ID number (the one that you used to register for M-PESA)
What is the importance of the M-PESA SECRET word?
M-PESA users are required to present their ‘secret word’ to identify themselves when calling the M-PESA Customer Service (line 234). This word is sent to you by the M-PESA system when you activate your account. Do not share your secret word with anyone other than Safaricom Customer Support Staff. You can change your secret word to a word that is more memorable to you, by choosing ‘Secret Word’ under ‘My Account’ on the M-PESA menu, at any time – this is currently free.
How many times can I change my secret word?
We currently have no limit to the number of times you can change your secret word.
What is the importance of my M-PESA PIN?
You require your M-PESA PIN to send and withdraw money from your account, using the M-PESA menu on your Safaricom SIM. You must keep your PIN secret and should therefore choose a combination that is easy for you to remember, but difficult for others to guess. Do not share your M-PESA PIN with anyone, not even Safaricom staff. You can change your PIN at anytime from the M-PESA menu on your phone at a fee of KShs. 20.
What do I do if I forget my M-PESA PIN?
- Call line 234 (you will be asked for your secret word), or go to a any Safaricom Retail Shop with your ID and request for a new one-time PIN (Start Key)
- This will be sent to your mobile phone via SMS and will cost you Kshs 20.
- Once you receive your Start Key, follow the following instructions to reset your M-PESA PIN:
- Go to the M-PESA menu, select ‘My Account’
- Select ‘Change PIN’
- Enter the new Start Key as the old PIN
- Enter your preferred PIN
- Confirm the PIN
4. You will receive an SMS from M-PESA confirming that your PIN has been changed.
What do I do in case I send money to the wrong number?
Wrong transfers are reversible on the M-PESA system, upon rigorous vetting of the sender and recipient and if the money has not yet been cashed or withdrawn. If you make an incorrect transaction:
- Call or send an SMS to Line 234 immediately and provide them with the number that has erroneously received the cash.
- For SMS, preferably write in the format Reversal # Sender’s No.# Amount
- Funds sent to a wrong number will be reversed only if still available in the wrong recipients account.
- If successful, you will receive an SMS indicating that a reversal has been done.
Will my transactions be limited to the Agency store where I registered?
No. You will be able to carry out transactions at any M-PESA agency store and not limited to where you registered.
How safe is my money?
If registered your money is safe since every transaction requires identification in form of a secret PIN. This is enhanced by use of Secret word for any call to customer care.
Why am I not receiving SMS confirmation for the transactions I have done?
This could be as a result of the following:
- Your inbox is full, so delete some messages
- You have diverted messages to screened messages, check the Screened Messages Inbox. If the messages are there, remove M-PESA from the Screened numbers list.
- If none of the above works, contact Safaricom Customer Care on 234 for more assistance.
Is M-PESA available outside Kenya?
No. Currently the service is limited to Kenya.
What are the benefits of M-PESA?
M-PESA allows you to make transactions simply and securely in a few seconds by using SMS technology. This has many benefits to customers in terms of convenience, security and ease of use. The pricing is competitive compared with other formal money transfer services
You can now also pay for your bills to selected service providers that have partnered with M-PESA to enable their customers pay for services through M-PESA.
M-PESA / PESAPOINT FAQS
How does M-PESA work with the PesaPoint ATM?
Firstly, you need to be an M-PESA registered customer and then follow the steps below:-
First on your phone:
- Choose ATM withdrawal option from the M-PESA menu.
- Enter The PesaPoint agent code 555 555.
- Enter M-PESA PIN. An SMS with 6-digit authorisation code is received.
Then on the ATM:
- Select M-PESA option
- Enter the authorisation code on the ATM keyboard
- Enter your mobile number and the withdrawal amount and the ATM will allow you to do cardless cash transaction.
- The ATM dispenses your cash and a receipt and you receive a confirmation from M-PESA
Information is available at all PesaPoint ATMs
How do I get the ATM Withdrawal option on my phone M-PESA menu?
Update your menu at no cost by following the steps below:-
The option can be obtained easily and for FREE by following these steps:-
- Choose My Account option from the M-PESA menu
- Choose Update menu option from this sub-menu
- Enter your 4-digit M-PESA PIN number
- Await reply from Safaricom M-PESA system
- Your menu is now updated with the ATM withdrawal option
What is the PesaPoint Agent Code for M-PESA?
The PesaPoint Agent code is 555 555 for all PesaPoint ATMs countrywide.
How much can I withdraw in a Single Transaction from a PesaPoint ATM?
The minimum withdrawal amount per ATM Transaction is Kshs. 200 and the maximum is Kshs. 20,000. You are allowed to make multiple cash withdrawals from the ATM. Note: existing M-PESA rules apply and the maximum transaction amount per day is Ksh. 70,000; ATM withdrawals count towards this.
What should I do if the ATM does not give me cash as requested but debits my M-PESA account? If your transaction is unsuccessful and cash is not dispensed but your M-PESA account is debited, call PesaPoint on 0726-853000 or send an e-mail to email@example.com.
Do I need to have an ATM card to withdraw money from my M-PESA account? All you need is your M-PESA account and Safaricom line. You need to be an M-PESA registered customer to use this service.
Where are the PesaPoint ATMs?
They are 110 PesaPoint ATMs in 45 towns countrywide including Nairobi, Kisumu and Mombasa. The list is available at the Pesapoint Website www.pesapoint.co.ke
What is the advantage of using PesaPoint to withdraw money from your M-PESA? PesaPoint allows you to access your money any time of day or night in secure environments at your convenience.
What are the charges for M-PESA Transactions?