The COVID-19 pandemic is one of the most unforeseen events to happen in this century and it’s coming down on everyone, no matter who you are. In light of its financial/economic effects, the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) set up a plan to ease the load on the common mwananchi. This included having mobile money fees from Telcos like Safaricom dropped for M-Pesa transactions up to and including KES 1000 for another 6 months. However, as this may be a solid move for the majority, Safaricom says that it’s costing them revenue and they are now petitioning for this to be scrapped.
Safaricom Tries To Limit M-PESA Transactions
The drop had already been going on earlier for an initial 90 day period. Immediately the stipulated time came to an end, Safaricom seemingly cancelled that subscription. Fortunately, it was not too long before the CBK extended it for another six months to December 31st 2020.
According to sources, Safaricom petitioned the CBK to cap free transfers to under five. What they are essentially asking for is that a person should only be able to send up to KES 1000 5 times only. Then the subsequent transfers would attract charges.
“We have pressurised the CBK to allow us to cap the number of split transactions at five. So far CBK has not obliged, but we are continuing to put pressure on them,” said Mr Michael Joseph, Safaricom Director.
Safaricom notes that people would rather spend the time sending KES 1000 60 times than spend KES 105 to send KES 60,000. Safaricom went ahead to ask for a waiver whereby the limit would be dropped to KES 500.
“All I can say is that the CBK reviewed the emergency measures that were put in place and came out with the determination that we said. We are not in the business of having public discourses about some of these things,” said CBK Governor Patrick Njoroge.
However, the CBK has since said no to the bid, so customers can enjoy the service for the next six months.