Safaricom has suffered a setback on the rollout of its plan to conceal customer details using Lipa na M-Pesa. The giant telco cited technical hitches which have necessitated the delay of the rollout which had been slated for the end of June.
The feature is expected to help protect customer details from access by fraudsters. In the new plan, Safaricom plans to display only the first name of the customer making the payment on Lipa na M-Pesa and a few digits of their phone number, effectively concealing their contact details.
“As an update to our previous communication regarding data minimisation on the M-Pesa API, we will be making adjustments to accommodate several of our partners who are experiencing technical challenges integrating the minimised APIs,” Safaricom told merchants.
The telco has not given a new date for the intended integration, but said that merchants will continue receiving payment as in the normal system.
“As such, partners will continue to receive customer phone numbers through the M-Pesa API beyond the earlier communicated deadline of 30th June 2022,” it said.“This will ensure partners can continue to adequately process payments as we assist them to resolve resulting technical challenges.”
The move is in accordance with data protection laws, which prohibits companies from trading personal information with advertisers, or leaving them at risk of access by potential fraudsters.
Currently, people who pay for goods and services leave their phone numbers and names with thousands of merchants.