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How To Reverse Accidentally purchased airtime on M-PESA

By Oluchukwu Ikemefuna

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You just mistakenly recharged some amount of airtime via the Mpesa platform and you do not know how to reverse M-PESA payment. What would you do? Find out in this piece.

M-PESA is a fintech platform developed by Vodafone in 2007 for Safaricom and Vodacom, Kenya’s and Tanzania’s leading mobile networks.

It is Africa’s most successful phone-based money transfer, financing and microfinance service and can be used to make payments across continents due to its safety and unmatched convenience.

It provides financial services to people who do not have access to bank accounts or have limited access to banking services. M-PESA provides these people with a safe and secure way to send and receive money, receive short term loans and make other financial transactions.

It has played a major role in helping regions where traditional banking services are limited. It has now expanded beyond Kenya and Tanzania, offering services in India, Egypt and Afghanistan as well.

Safaricom, which is Kenya’s major mobile operator provides allthe necessaryy infrastructure and the platform for M-PESA’s operations. Users can access M-PESA services via their Safaricom account. Safaricom operates as a mediator for all M-PESA transactions, assuring security and reliability.

Also read: Why is my KCB Mpesa Loan Limit Zero?

How to download the M-PESA App

M-PESA can be the solution you never knew you needed. Below are some of the steps you can take to install the M-PESA app:

  1. Install the M-PESA App: the M-PESA app can be downloaded from Google Play Store, Apple App store or the Safaricom App store. Search for “M-PESA”. Click on Download and follow instructions to install. Data charges may apply for download and installation. The myM-PESA App is only available to Safari.com Prepay and Post pay subscribers who use android and iOS services but are registered on the Safaricom’s M-PESA service. Safaricom reserves the right to offer or decline access to the M-PESA App.
  2. Launch the Application: After installation, the app is launched. A pop-up page will show to enter your secret M-PESA pin (Personal Identification Number). If you are not registered on M-PESA already, you may not be able to use the app. This article will also take you through the steps of registering on M-PESA.
  3. Authentication: The app may require further input of other information for authentication. This is to confirm that you are the registered user of the M-PESA account. These means of authentication include, one-time password (OTP), start keys, biometrics or secret codes.
  4. Terms and Conditions: You will be required to accept the terms and conditions and the app’s privacy policy in order to access the exciting services on the myM-PESA app. It is important to read through these T and Cs in order to avoid misunderstandings and confusion later. Although 99 percent of us will not read it regardless.
  5. Fund your Account: You can continue to use the M-PESA app after funding your account. This also gives you the opportunity to access all the exciting offers and benefits on the app and to proceed with financial transactions.

Also read: Mpesa Loan Apps in Kenya

Features of the M-PESA app

  • Send Money
  • Pay for services
  • Withdraw funds
  • Buy Airtime
  • View and hide M-PESA balance
  • Personal finance management that shows a summary of your spending
  • Full statement
  • Notifications
  • Showing favorite merchants etc.

How to reverse M-PESA Purchased airtime

While using the M-PESA App for transactions, mistakes can occur, as with any other app. One of such mistakes might be buying too much airtime mistakenly or buying any airtime amount by mistake.

If you don’t know how to reverse M-PESA transaction, you will learn that in this section.

The panic that overcomes you is not necessary. Fear not, it is reversible. Below are steps to reverse accidentally purchased airtime on M-PESA on the App:

  1. Act quickly:  If you have accidentally purchased airtime, it is important to act as quickly as possible to reverse on m-pesa. The amount might not be reversed if too much time has passed. It can only be reversed within a certain time-frame.
  1. Do not use the airtime:  Whatever amount of airtime you purchase, do not use it up. Let the money be the same amount in your phone. If you buy #1,000 airtime, confirm that there is still #1,000 airtime balance on your SIM.
  1. eligibility: The customer must have reversed the airtime themselves. And it must have been done from the M-PESA App in order to request a reversal.
  1. Locate the “Reverse Transaction” option: Once you realize the airtime error, tap on the reverse transaction icon on the M-PESA App.
  1. Answer the required questions: You will be given options on the reasons why you want to reverse the airtime. Select your reversal reason. For example: “wrong amount”, “wrong recipient” etc.
  1. Be patient: The reversal request will be submitted and an update will be shared in about two minutes. At this point, Safaricom will engage the second party for a reversal. You will notice that the transaction reversal process has been started. You can now continue to check your messages for one with the header “Reversal”.

Also read: How to Carry Out MPESA PayPal Transactions 2024

Reversal via SMS

  • After the erroneous transaction, send the whole message to 456
  • You will receive an update from “Reversal” that the request for a reversal has started and an update will be shared in about 2 hours.
  • Check your messages for an update on the status of the airtime reversal on M-PESA.

How to Reverse M-PESA Purchased Airtime on the Safaricom App

You can also request for an airtime reversal on m-pesa on the Safaricom App. In this section, we will highlight steps to follow if you do not know how to reverse M-PESA transaction. Follow these steps:

  • eligibility: The customer must have reversed the airtime themselves. And it must have been done from the Safaricom App in order to request a reversal from the app.
  • Locate the “Reverse Transaction” option: Once you realize the airtime error, tap on the reverse transaction icon on the Safaricom App.
  • Confirm: You will be asked to confirm your request for the airtime reversal on m-pesa.
  • Wait for an Update: The reversal request will be submitted and an update will be shared in about two minutes.at this point, Safaricom will engage the second party for a reversal. You will notice that the transaction reversal process has been started. You can now continue to check your messages for one with the header “Reversal”.

Also read: Pay for SGR online booking via MPesa 2024

How to request for an airtime reversal on M-PESA by Chatting with Zuri

In addition to the above steps, you can also get a reversal by chatting with Zuri, an automated customer care line.

The number is 0722000100 and if you don’t know how to reverse M-PESA transaction by making a request to Zuri, you should follow the procedures below:

  • Initiate a conversation with Zuri: This is done by going to WhatsApp and typing a “hello” message. Zuri will respond with the M-pesa privacy policy which you are encouraged to read to prevent any mishaps in the future.
  • Choose your option: Zuri will respond with a number of options for you to choose from including: Manage Subscriptions, M-PESA help and Reversal, Loans and Savings etc. pick option 2, M-PESA HELP and Reversal.
  • Choose “Reverse”: After choosing option 1, you will be presented with a number of choices again. Choose option 1 to get an airtime reversal on M-PESA.
  • Authentication: you will be asked to input some things in order to confirm your identity and initiate the reversal process. The first of these is your M-PESA transaction code or to copy and paste the entire message. Then you will be asked to confirm your phone number.

In addition to this, you will be asked to input your M-PESA pin to ensure authenticity too.

  • Wait for an update: You will get a notification from WhatsApp confirming that the reversal request has been received and an update will be shared. When the reversal is complete, you will be contacted for consent. After giving consent, you will be refunded.

How to Register for M-PESA

To get registered on M-Pesa, you have to visit the nearest M-Pesa agent outlet or Safaricom retail center and come along with valid identification documents and a mobile phone with a Safari SIM card.

You will be provided with an M-PESA registration form. Fill in the required details, which typically include your full name, phone number and the mobile network you are using.

Also read: How to pay NHIF Kenya via MPesa 2024

After successful registration, you will receive a confirmation message and a 4 digit M-PESA PIN by SMS. To fully activate your account, you will need to deposit money into it.

You can hand the agent the amount you want to deposit and they will load it for you. Or you can also download the myM-PESA app (instructions above) and deposit money into it.

Are transaction fees associated with using M-PESA

Yes, although the transaction fees vary depending on the type of transaction. The amount involved in the transaction also applies and the transaction fees are updated regularly so it is very important to check the current rates.

Fees usually charged on transactions like: sending funds, withdrawing money and making payments.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I send money to my personal Bank Account from M-PESA?

Yes, you can do this through the M-PESA to Bank service. You can also send from a bank account to M-PESA. To transfer to a bank account, follow the prompts on the M-PESA menu on your phone and enter the bank details. You will be credited instantly.

How do retrieve my M-PESA pin if I forget it?

If you forget your M-PESA pin, you can contact customer service on Safaricom, chat with Zuri or visit a nearby M-PESA agent. You might have to provide a means of identification and /or authentication, however.

How do check my M-PESA balance?

To check your M-PESA account balance directly from your mobile phone, simply dial *234# and then follow the prompts on the screen. You can also use the M-PESA APP or Safaricom app.

How secure is M-PESA?

M-PESA has various measures to keep your data safe and secure. This includes asking for authentication using your PIN, encrypted communication channels and systems that monitor transactions. Also, you can protect your data by safe-guarding your PIN. Beware of voice phishing scams as well.

What to do if there are issues with my M-PESA transactions

Delays or errors in transactions must be addressed as soon as possible. You can use the M-PESA app to ask for help or chat with Zuri on WhatsApp. You can also call the customer care number, you may be asked to provide details of the transaction, means of identification, amount, recipient number and other information as well.


If you have always been bothered about how to reverse M-PESA transactions before now, you should be a master of it after reading this piece. Good luck on your next M-PESA airtime reversal.

Follow us on X or Twitter, @SiliconAfriTech for access to more informative pieces.



  • https://nangmak.com: How to reverse Safaricom Airtime Bought via M-PESA
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Oluwajuwon Oladiti
Oluwajuwon Oladiti

Oladiti Oluwajuwon is an ardent reader and a voracious writer who is passionate about informing the public with first-hand, authentic information. His writing expertise has spanned over 5+ years, an odyssey that began in 2018. Over the years, he has crafted pieces across multiple domains, including religion, education, politics, and tech. There are two principles at the core of his writing: information must be genuine and accurate, and there is nothing erudite about speaking in terms people don't understand. While maintaining technicality, messages must be passed in a way that resonates with the readers.

Oluwajuwon is also a software engineer who specializes in backend development with Python, and he has an unwavering passion for music, pop genre especially.

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