FACT CHECKER

PARTLY TRUE: Safaricom calling for registration of next of kin

Message advised subscribers to dial a certain number to register upon which would be guided.

In Summary

• PR Company Ogilvy said it was true that Safaricom had asked its subscribers to register details of their next of kin but the purported Sh1.7 billion unclaimed money was not true.

• The message advised the subscribers to dial a certain number to register upon which they would be guided on the process.

A viral WhatsApp message claiming that Safaricom has called on its subscribers to register details of their next of kin is partly true.

The message advised the subscribers to dial a certain number to register upon which they would be guided on the process.

“Team members, have you registered your M-PESA next of Kin details. To register dial *234*5# then select 6. You will be guided. Do you know SAFARICOM has more than Sh1.7 billion with nobody to claim for lack of next of kin??? . Ensure you know id number and Safaricom number of your next of kin. NOW YOU KNOW!!!,” read the message.

 

We reached out to the communication company to ascertain whether this claim was true which they confirmed to be partly true.

Through their PR Company Ogilvy, Safaricom said it was true that it had asked its subscribers to register details of their next of kin but the purported Sh1.7 billion unclaimed money was not true.

“We have been informed subscribers once dialling the provided numbers will be guided on how to access the next of kin information through their Bonga account. This is how it was initially designed because it's not linked to M-Pesa,” Susan Wanjiku head of Communication at Ogilvy said.

“Safaricom however contacts any customers with unclaimed assets every year before submitting unclaimed funds. So the claim process is true but the unclaimed amount is not factual”.

Next of kin is a term used to describe a person's closest living blood relative whom Safaricom may contact in case of any eventuality.

Legal representative means a person who is authorized to deal with the estate of a deceased person whether through appointment under a will or by right and thereafter application to a court as per the law.

Safaricom requires the claimant to visit any of its retail centers and provide certain documents for inspection and approval before any funds can be released.

In the process, the claimant will be required to produce their ID, deceased person’s death certificate, statutory declaration (Affidavit); and letter from provincial administration or confirmation of Grant of Letters of Administration (interstate) or Confirmation of Grant of Probate.

Upon receiving notification of the death of a subscriber the M-PESA account is frozen to prevent further dealings and to protect the estate of the deceased.

Once all the requisite documents have been provided, funds will be transferred into the beneficiaries entitled to the M-PESA account balances once all documents are found to be in order.

The beneficiary must also provide a registered M-PESA account to receive the funds as Safaricom does not pay out money in any other form.