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CBK Extends Free Transactions on M-Pesa and Airtel Money For 6 Months

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Image courtesy The Standard

After days of uncertainty, the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has finally announced the extension of the waiver on transaction charges for telcos and banks across the country. This comes after an announcement came out that the deal was facing an expiration date thus awaiting further direction from CBK.

Safaricom PLC was one that had insisted on not taking any action until the government made it clear on what to do next. Banks, on the other hand, had announced that they would be making decisions on the next step individually if there was no order from the authorities. Well, now we know where they will stand or better yet, keep standing.

“Following the March 16, 2020 announcement by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) of measures to facilitate increased use of mobile money transactions instead of cash, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, CBK has reviewed their implementation.” the statement reads.

“Against this backdrop, and pursuant to Regulation 43(2) of the National Payment System Regulations, 2014, CBK has determined that the wallet and transactions limits that were announced on March 16, 2020, will remain in force.” it goes further to say.

All the waivers on transaction charges for M-PESA, Airtel Money and banks will remain as they were. Additionally, the transaction limits that had been increased will stay intact as well.

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When it comes to mobile money, the implementation had proven to work as the number of daily transactions had been reported to spike impressively.

According to CBK, daily transactions through M-PESA averaged KES 11.94 billion in the first quarter of 2020 compared with KES 11.83 billion the year before.

However, the removal of transaction fees has taken a toll on the level of income for telco firms. Safaricom, for example, has been losing an average of KES 1.7 billion monthly since the 16th March directive.  Hopefully, they will be able to recover when all this is over.

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