Safaricom SIM replacement: the process

Safaricom SIM replacement, what is the process like? What do Safaricom subscribers go through when they have to replace their lines? Is the process smooth? What is required of customers who want to replace their lines?

Well, I just replaced my SIM card a few hours ago. In this post I am going to share my experience.

I hope my story will answer some of the questions you may have in regards to SIM replacements.

 Note: This post contains affiliate links. When you click on something I recommend and purchase it, I will receive a commission for the sale – at no extra cost to you. 

Old 3G Safaricom SIM to a 4G+ card

So, I had one of the old Safaricom SIM cards that work fine in the big / normal SIM card slots and modems but can’t fit in the slots that come with most smartphones these days (slots that support only micro SIMs, nano SIM cards and SD / memory cards).Safaricom 4G+ SIM Card

I remembered the last plate I was given the last time I replaced my SIM card a few years ago after my phone was stolen. That is the card with the PIN 1, PIN 2, PUK 1, PUK 2, IMSI and serial number.

I carried my ID and 100 Kenyan Shillings. And the SIM I wanted replaced.

The funny thing is I didn’t even carry a phone with me – because the damn thing refused to charge.

Then I just walked to an M-PESA shop not far from where I live. And yes, they had that all too familiar SIM REPLACEMENT sign somewhere on the wall, visible to people walking by the shop.

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I greeted the agent.

I told him what I wanted. He quickly pulled out one of the new 4G+ sim cards and started the process on his phone.

Calling Safaricom customer care (about replacing my SIM card)

He then called Safaricom customer care about replacing my SIM. I don’t know if that is the norm these days. The last time I replaced my SIM card, no calls were made to Safaricom.

And then once he got hold of a representative, they chatted a bit, then he handed me the phone to talk to the guy.

To facilitate the process, he said he was going to ask me a few questions pertaining to my usage of M-PESA and other Safaricom services (voice for example).

And he did say hello first.

And said his name. And asked my name.

Then the questions came.

I remember all these questions I was asked.

Then he told me to hold – for a minute. During that time they played the all too common customer care music – most of which are not memorable, but work quite well when you don’t have to sing or dance but just hold a phone to your ear and wait.

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And once the minute was gone, the process was complete. That’s what he said.

Reactivating M-PESA on my new SIM card

Then he asked me if I knew how to reactivate my M-PESA account. I did say yes. But he told me what I needed to do anyway: ‘Go to the Safaricom SIM toolkit menu > M-PESA > select Wezesha or Activate > enter your PIN and date of birth as shown in your ID.’Safaricom SIM replacement: the process

[… and if you are using a smartphone or tablet and you don’t want the Safaricom SIM toolkit menu to keep popping up on your screen while using other apps, tap on the MORE button at the top right corner of your device’s screen & then tap End session] emphasis mine.

I thanked him I think, then handed the M-PESA agent his phone. I took back my ID and the new SIM card / plate and walked back home.

The look of the new SIM card was unique. I had to take some photos of my new line immediately:

  • before scratching the card / plate to reveal my new PIN 1, PIN 2, PUK 1 and PUK 2.
  • before inserting the new micro SIM card in my phone

Once I powered up my device, I just entered the new PIN 1. And everything was working fine, except I had nothing in my contacts list. [So backup your contacts before you initiate the replacement process.]

Then I went to the SIM toolkit menu to activate M-PESA on the new SIM.

Here is what I did:

  • Went to the M-PESA menu
  • Selected the Activate option
  • Entered my M-PESA PIN
  • Since I didn’t want to change it, I entered the same PIN again
  • And to confirm, I entered the same PIN once more
  • Then I entered my date of birth in the following format DDMMYYYY
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And that was it.

Immediately I was having fun, checking stuff online with my remaining Safaricom data bundle with no expiry / Tunukiwa data bundle.

Changing Safaricom SIM PIN on the new line

Then I changed my PIN from the one on the new card (PIN 1) to the PIN I was using before replacing my line. How?

  • By going to the Safaricom SIM toolkit menuReplacing Safaricom SIM card 3G 4G+ Micro Nano SIM
  • Selecting Safaricom+
  • Selecting My Account
  • Selecting the SIM Services option
  • And tapping on Change SIM PIN.

That was the process for me. I just had to share this.

Maybe what you’ve gone through is a little bit different. Maybe the last time you replaced your SIM, you just bought the replacement SIM and did everything yourself – because I even see a SIM replacement option somewhere in the *100# menu on my Safaricom line – and also when I go through the items available via the *456# USSD code. So, it’s possible.

Time it took: less than ten minutes.
Cost to replace the old Safaricom SIM: KSh 100.
Where: I did all this at an M-PESA shop.
Questions asked: my name, ID number, phone number & usage (phone numbers I called frequently, last airtime top up, my M-PESA balance, any bills I remember paying via M-PESA).

Was I happy with the service rendered by the M-PESA agent and the customer care guy on the line? Yes.

If you have gone through a similar experience, share your story with me in the comments section below.

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