Safaricom Announces New MPESA charges

By: Sumaya Hussein (husseinsumaya1@gmail.com)

Thumbnail photo courtesy of QZ

On Tuesday, leading telecommunication company, Safaricom, announced new MPESA charges that are 45% reduced, effective January 1, 2021.

“As guided by the Central Bank of Kenya and taking into account the Principles on the pricing of mobile money services, we have taken the decision to reduce our MPESA tariffs by up to 45% for lower value transaction bands,” the company said in a notice.

The company says that the reductions will affect more than 90% of customer transactions when sending money.

It will cost Ksh.6 to send Ksh.101-500, down from Ksh.11, and cost Ksh.22 down from Ksh.41 to send Ksh.1501- 2500.

All transactions of Ksh.100 and below remain free.

Moreover, customers will continue to enjoy free transactions between MPESA and bank accounts.

Safaricom says this is in consideration of the expiry of COVID reliefs of free MPESA transactions. The company had previously announced the expiry to take place beginning next year.

They have also maintained the Ksh.300,000 limit of amount to transact in a day, which was introduced as part of the COVID reliefs.

According to Chief Executive Officer, Peter Ndegwa, the price cuts are permanent and will enable more than 2.6 million users to enjoy lower costs when sending money.

“Our new, reduced tariffs will equally apply to transactions for micro-Businesses under our new Pochi La Biashara service, and for Lipa Na M-PESA businesses using the Transacting Till to make payments,” he added.

Safaricom CEO, Peter Ndegwa. Photo courtesy of The Star.

The company is betting on volumes to cover for the low fees after the waiver of charges which cost them Ksh.9 billion in the six months to June. This saw the firm report a 6% drop in net profit to Ksh.33.07 billion, the first drop in nine years.

The reliefs on mobile money payments were introduced on March 16, 2020, to encourage cashless transactions and control the spread of coronavirus.

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