The Central Bank of Kenya has announced that mobile money transactions below sh1000 will not attract any costs moving forward, ensuring that more Kenyans can continue to use the cashless payment options.
In a statement, CBK said that a significant increase in the use of mobile money channels by individuals in both value and number of transactions was noted. “Most of the increase was in low-value transactions of sh1000 or less—this band accounts for over 80 percent of mobile money transactions and charges were eliminated, which has helped cushion the most vulnerable households”.
The statement added that more than 1.6 million additional customers are now using mobile money channels.
However, business-related transactions have declined marginally.
In an earlier interview, Safaricom’s Peter Ndegwa had remarked that since the removal of the fees, transaction volumes have increased.
The CBK statement further stated that the current tariff for transactions above sh70,000 will remain.
The banking regulator had on March 16, 2020, announced measures to facilitate increased use of mobile money transactions instead of cash, in the context of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.
“CBK notes that these measures were timely and highly effective in facilitating official and personal transfers at a time of great need. Further, CBK assesses that the increased wallet and transactions limits that were also announced have led to increased usage at higher amounts and greater convenience”, the statement read in part.
The measures will not only remain force, but extended and will remain in place from July 1, 2020 until December 31, 2020.
CBK also said that there will be no charge by Payment Service Providers (PSPs) and commercial banks for transfers between mobile money wallets and bank accounts. CBK will continue to closely monitor the implementation of these emergency measures.
Commercial banks also eliminated charges for transfers between a bank account and any mobile money wallet (including M-PESA, Airtel Money and Telkom’s T-Kash)
As part of the new measures, Safaricom announced that the new M-Pesa transaction limit will be sh150,000 while daily maximum is sh300,000.
You can hold up to sh300,000 in your M-PESA wallet
However, the maximum account balance allowed is sh300,000.
The maximum daily transaction Value is sh300,000. Maximum per transaction is sh150,000
You also cannot withdraw less than sh50 at an M-PESA agent outlet.
For Safaricom customers, sending above sh70,000 costs sh105 and withdrawing from an agent is sh300. One cannot withdraw from an ATM above sh20,000 whose cost is sh197.