The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics has reported a marginal decline in the number of people willing to reverse the money erroneously sent to them via M-PESA.
During the launch of the 2021 Economic Survey Report, KNBS said that hard economic times had led to reduction in the number of people willing to reverse the money sent to their mobile money wallet, with many opting to withdraw the money as quickly as possible.
“Out of the 3.1 million wrong transactions that were carried out in the year 2021, only 93 were successfully reversed. This is a decline from the 97 that were reversed in 2020 and 122 that were reversed in 2019. This is a worrying trend that is expected to continue in the foreseeable future.”
The survey also noted that money sent to the wrong recipient is usually withdrawn within 2.7 working minutes, making it hard for the sender to recover the money.
While the state of the economy was blamed for the unwillingness to return money received erroneously, corporate greed also contributed significantly to the rot.
“Most of the people who used the money sent to them blame the state of the economy, with a few attributing the occurrence to the luck. However, a third of all the people who failed to refund the money blamed Safaricom for their trouble. These are the ones who had Fuliza loans and there is little they can do. Safaricom on its part chose to play the game by using the money to pay themselves, then accusing the recipient of using the money.”
The most used line to appeal for the money to be refunded is ‘hio pesa ni ya mgonjwa’ (the money is meant to pay hospital bill). It was also noted that an increasing number of Kenya did not bother to ask for a refund because they believed that it would not matter.
KNBS noted that the loss from sending money to the wrong M-PESA number is even higher because more money and time is wasted while trying to recover the lost money. The best thing for one to do is just to ignore the money and nurse your heartache as you try to make more money.