How to reverse MPesa sent or withdrawn wrongly and Safaricom Airtime

You must be wondering how you can reverse MPesa you’ve sent to the wrong number. Or the MPesa money withdrawn from the wrong agent. Or even airtime sent to the wrong number. Otherwise how else have you stumbled here?

Either of these mistakes sucks! I know, however I’ve got solutions for you. But before I give them to you, nothing beats being a little more careful next time.

Now, let’s find out how to reverse MPesa money sent to wrong number, withdrawn from the wrong agent and airtime bought for the wrong Safaricom number.

Check out MPesa charges for sending or withdrawing money from an MPesa agent.

How to Reverse MPesa sent to the wrong number.

It’s only complete ignorance that would make you send money to the wrong number because Safaricom gives you a chance to confirm the number and name of the recipient before the transaction is initiated.

However, upon realizing that you’ve confirmed and sent money to the wrong number

  1. Open MPesa messages, Copy the transaction code e.g. (OE111ABCDE)
  2. Create a blank message and paste the code
  3. Enter 456 as the recipient and click send
  4. Wait for Safaricom to initiate the reversal.

This procedure is completely free

You can also call Safaricom customer care number 100, select language, and then select reverse MPesa. Dialing *100# brings you’re the reversal option too.

How long does it take to reverse a wrong MPesa transaction?

Once you send the reversal request, Safaricom will respond within 5 minutes to inform you they’re working on the issue. Two factors determine the time it would take for you to get back your money.

First, the time of the day. During the day, the transaction can take from 2 hours to 24 hours to be reversed while at night, you’ll have to wait till the next morning.

Secondly, if the recipient of the money decides to make an MPesa transaction before you reverse the money you sent, the reversal fails. Also, if they had asked for a Fuliza loan, it will be used to pay the loan immediately and getting back your money will be more challenging.

What to do when MPesa reversal fails?

Do not panic. The government of Kenya has measures to protect your money. According to Computer and Cyber Crimes Act, 2018, it is a crime to intentionally hide or hold electronic messages, electronic payments, credit and debit card details sent in error.

Section 34 states that anybody who commits this felon and in our case does anything to keep the money or refuse to return it to you, commits an offense and is liable to up to a Ksh 200,000 fine, a two years jail term, or both.

  1. Contact Safaricom customer care to direct the recipient to pay back the money.
  2. If the recipient fails to reverse the money, legal action can be taken.

Wrong MPesa transactions don’t only happen when sending money despite the measure Safaricom has put to reduce cases such cases. They also happen when withdrawing money from an MPesa agent.

You may have read the agent number wrongly or were a little absent-minded and hence input the wrong number.

Don’t panic either. Safaricom upgraded the money withdrawal system to only enable transactions with agents that are of close proximity to a customer.

They probably use GPS or some other technology but one thing for sure, if the wrong agent number is not within less than 5 kilometers from the agent, the withdrawal will not go through.

However, in the rare case that this happens because the wrong agent number operates within a close range then here is what to do.

How to reverse money withdrawn from wrong agent?

The money will obviously be sent to the agent but nobody will be there to pick hard cash.

  1. Call Safaricom 100
  2. Select Language
  3. Select MPesa Transaction Service option
  4. Inform the customer care representative that you have withdrawn money from the wrong agent number. You might be asked to provide a few details to verify your identity.
  5. Wait for Safaricom to follow up on the issue.

Safaricom will contact the MPesa agent who received your withdrawal to inform them and have them record the transaction. Then they will reverse the money to your phone number.

It takes between 12 hours and 48 hours for the money to be reversed, so be a little patient and next time confirm details before making any transaction.

What if while you’re withdrawing money from an MPesa agent, you accidentally buy airtime?

This has happened to me twice but luckily enough, I was broke at both times, proudly withdrawing 100 and 200 bob respectively.

But what if you bought accidentally bought airtime worth thousands of shillings?

How to reverse airtime back to MPesa.

First of all, just panic. You can’t avoid this step. But panic for a minute then get back to your senses.

  1. Ensure you don’t use even a single shilling of your airtime.
  2. Turn off your data connection if you haven’t enabled Data Manager. If you’re connected to the internet, background services will use your airtime to access the internet.
  3. Contact Safaricom Customer Care number 100
  4. Select MPesa Transaction option
  5. Inform customer care agent of the erroneous purchase.
  6. Wait for Safaricom to take care of the issue.

Safaricom uses two different units in financial book keeping. When money is moved between these records, it’s hard to reverse.

However, it’s still possible and the only way to ensure it works is by not tampering with the airtime. This is also why it’s hard to reverse M-Pesa money used by the recipient.

Another option you have, although you’ll go through a small loss is to convert airtime to MPesa using services such as Shopika and ENET Kenya. I’m not sure if they work but I’m yet to find out.

Lastly, what if you sent airtime or bought airtime for the wrong number.

How to reverse airtime sent to wrong number

The same procedure applies for this case

  1. Call Safaricom 100
  2. Select Language
  3. Select MPesa Transaction Service option
  4. Inform the customer care representative that you have sent airtime to the wrong number and request for reversal. You might be asked to provide a few details to verify your identity.
  5. Wait for Safaricom to follow up on the issue.

Despite how simple all these steps seem, it is never a guarantee that you’ll get your MPesa cash or airtime back. Technical issues can affect the reversal process.

So the only sure way is to be careful and attentive when doing MPesa transactions. It will save you money, time and a lot of stress.


  1. I have two questions, How do you contact a customer care representative ??. When you call 100 or 234 they don’t give you the option.
    Secondly, are you supposed to get a reply after forwarding the message and code to 456?? I haven’t received anything yet I sent it almost 10 hours ago ,, also when the reverse fails, will they tell you or you just wait blankly??

    • Hey Diana, I also tried contacting Safaricom over an issue and realized its hard to get to a customer care agent. However, I went on to twitter and sent a direct message to Safaricom customer care and got a response from a rep. They even called me later. So try reaching them on twitter.
      Secondly, resend the message to 456 and 100. If you don’t get a response soon please contact them on twitter so that they can help you out.

  2. Hey, I sent money on Monday and confused the last digit. And I never confirmed the name afterwards. So yesterday as I checked and realized I made a confusion.How can it be reversed?
    Cause the person whom received the money, refused to send back and blocked me.
    It was 3900

    • Hey Geoffrey, Call Safaricom and have them reverse the transaction. Since the money has gone to an agent, you have a high chance of recovering your money.

  3. Hello I sent 2849 to a Monica Omwenga by mistake and she refused to refund and reversal was impossible since I discovered after 24hours

    • Hey Jackline, in such a case you have two ways to go about it. First try to contact Monica to refund you. If she doesn’t respond, call Safaricom and request them to help you recover your money from her. None of these solutions is a guarantee, so you need to be very careful the next time you want to send money.

  4. I have sent 2545 as transactions cost to a person named Charles cheruyiout pretend to the secretary of Margaret kenyatta first lady and they a giving 35,000 to 10 people per day his no. 0769876155 kindly help if possible

    • Hey Machocho, you have fallen victim to a con artist, you need to contact Safaricom and send them that number so that they can follow up on the issue

    • Hey! Did you get this solved? Called Safaricom about the wrong transaction but they don’t seem like they can help at all.

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