In March 2020, Safaricom announced the removal of the M-Pesa charges for transactions of Ksh.1000 and below. This was in accordance with the directive by President Uhuru Kenyatta to explore ways of deepening mobile money usage to reduce the risk of spreading the virus through the physical handling of cash.
CBK has released a report on the review of the directive and announced an order of extension of the directive.
CBK noted that the measures were timely and highly effective in facilitating official and personal transfers at a time of great need. Furthermore, CBK has noted that increased wallet and transaction limits that were earlier announced have led to increased usage at higher amount and greater convenience
It is because of these that CBK released a public statement dated 24th June on the extension. “Against the backdrop and pursuant to Regulation 43 (2) of the National Payment System Regulations, 2014, CBK has determined that the wallet transaction limits that were announced on March 16, 2020, will remain in force. Additionally, the emergency measures are extended and will remain in place from July 1, 2020, until December 31, 2020,” the statement read in part.
As it stands now, you will not be charged for mobile money transactions of up to Ksh1,000 while the current tariff for transactions above Ksh70,000 will remain in place.
In addition, there will be no charge by Payment Service Providers (PSPs) and commercial banks in the country for transfers between mobile money wallets and bank accounts.
Increase In Low Value Transactions
CBK noted that there had been an increase in the low-value transactions of Ksh1,000 or less which accounted for over 80 percent of mobile money transactions.
It was also noted that more than 1.6 million additional customers have switched to using mobile money channels with the bank observing that business-related transactions had declined marginally.
However, CBK has stated that it will continue to closely monitor the implementation of these emergency measures.
Many Kenyans have for the past months benefited a lot from the slashing of transaction fees. Although it was a measure to cushion Kenyans from the heavy transaction fee and encourage cashless payments, it is a payer for many that the current directives stays for much longer.