Safaricom has announced the launch of M-PESA services for visually impaired customers.

The new service will mean that customers can now access the mobile money services by dialing 234, then selecting the “M-PESA Services” option, followed by the “M-PESA Balance” option. This will then allow customers to enter their PIN and have their balances read out to them.

The platform will initially allow customers to query their M-PESA balances, with additional M-PESA services gradually being introduced in coming months.

Previously, visually impaired customers transacting on the service have had to depend on the assistance of other persons to make transactions. This has exposed them to the risk of being defrauded in the process, and also meant that they sometimes to have reveal their M-PESA PINs to other people.

By accessing M-PESA through an Interactive Voice Response platform, customers can now ascertain their M-PESA balances before and after making transactions.

Safaricom involved a focus group consisting of visually impaired customers in development and review of the service.