2020 has been a crazy year and the telecommunication industry in Kenya can very well bear testimony to that. This was made quite clear when Kenya’s leader Safaricom PLC released its 2020 half-year report revealing its profit decline for the first time in almost a decade.
As reported, this drop was mainly attributed to the zero-rating order given by the CBK earlier this year in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. And as much as the order was an act of goodwill to cushion Kenyans from the hard economic times, the telco was losing billions on a monthly basis. By July, Safaricom was projecting to lose over 19 billion by the end of 2020.
Luckily, the Central Bank of Kenya chose to not extend the waiver order as it comes to an expiration date on 31st December 2020. Bearing all this in mind, there will be a number of changes from Safaricom come 2021, now that the waiver order will be pretty much non-existent.
The first would be a review of M-PESA’s rates now that transactions worth less than KES 1,000 won’t be free anymore. This move had already been hinted by Safaricom earlier this month as it was awaiting CBK’s decision.
The current M-PESA rates would be expected to actually decrease to some degree as the firm looks to respond to various complaints about the high transaction fees. Moreover, there have been rumours that the CBK agreed to not extend the zero-rating order on condition that Safaricom lowers M-PESA’s transaction fees.
However, it is important to note that the firm will be doing this as it hopes to recover from the huge losses it suffered from this year. The telco has been quite vocal about its plans to increase streams of revenue after a half-year that has been as ideal as expected.
The other tweak would be expected to affect Safaricom Home Fibre that has been growing insanely lately as many people adapted to the work-from-home structure. We would not expect the company to get rid of the double speeds despite some reports although it would be reasonable if the firm made a change to the Home Fibre’s packages. Perhaps, the current rates will increase slightly but not too much.
None of this is confirmed yet, so you might want to take this with a pinch of salt.