Nairobi News


What next as 90-day period for free mobile money transfer lapses?

The 90-day period waiver on mobile money transaction fees for transactions of less than Sh1,000 has lapsed.

This was one of the measures put by telcos in the country to help minimize the impact of Covid-19 to its customers and to help them avoid the use of cash.

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) had pushed banks and telcos to adjust prices because of the economic slowdown caused by the global coronavirus pandemic after President Uhuru Kenyatta asked them to consider reducing costs of transactions to allow customers use cashless modes of payment as part of the measures to prevent the transmission of Covid-19.

The 90-day deal with the government lapsed last week and Safaricom, which owns M-Pesa, says it is awaiting direction from CBK on the free services.

“We are still waiting for a response from the Central Bank, we do not know if they intend to extend,” Safaricom said.

Safaricom on April 20 said it would take a Sh5.5 billion hit on its M-Pesa revenue in the three months from mid-March after it waived transaction fees on mobile money transfers of Sh1,000 and below.

Commercial banks also wavered charges for customers moving money between their mobile wallets and bank accounts with the free service set to end on June 30.

Kenya, which has reported 4,738 cases of Covid-19 and 123 deaths, expects the infectious disease to peak in September.