Good news for M-Pesa users as CBK extends deal to December
CBK (Central Bank of Kenya) has extended the waiver on mobile money transactions under Sh 1,000 for another six months after the initial 90-day period lapsed. The emergency measures had been effected in March this year, and will now extend to December 31, to combat the spread of the nobel Coronavirus.
In a statement, CBK says the measures, which include the elimination of charges on transactions of up to Sh1, 000, have been effective and will remain in force.
CBK said it had noted that the measures were timely and highly effective in facilitating official and personal transfers at a time of great need.
Following the March 16 announcement by CBK of measures to facilitate increased use of mobile money transactions instead of cash, a significant increase in the use of mobile money channels by individuals in both value and number of transactions has been realised.
“Most of the increase was in low-value transactions of Sh1,000 or less, which has helped cushion most vulnerable households,” said CBK in a statement.
Most of the increase has been in low-value transactions of Sh1,000 or less, which accounts for over 80 percent of mobile money transactions.
Moreover, CBK said more than 1.6 million additional customers are now using mobile money channels.
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 monetary policy regulator says it will continue to monitor the measures.
Safaricom risks billions
Safaricom had earlier said that the free M-Pesa service had seen it lose an average of Sh1.8 billion monthly since mid-March, a pointer that it could miss sales of up to Sh16.2 billion in the nine months to December.
The Sh16.2 billion is equivalent to about a fifth or 19.1 percent of M-Pesa’s annual sales, underlining the impact of the pandemic on Safaricom’s earnings.
Banks through their lobby group — the Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) — had planned for their members to decide on the free offer ahead of the CBK order, arguing that the free service was a moral appeal and not a legal order.
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