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CBK announces end of free M-Pesa transfer of Sh1,000

These include the waiver of fees on mobile-money transfers below Sh1000

In Summary

•CBK reassessed the emergency measures with the objective of consolidating the gains made and also facilitate a transition towards sustainable growth of the mobile money ecosystem.

•Starting January 1, 2021 there will be no charge for person-to-person transfers of up to Sh100 to any customer and network. 

An employee assists a customer to set-up M-Pesa money transfer service on his handset inside a mobile phone care centre in Nairobi, May 11, 2016. /REUTERS
An employee assists a customer to set-up M-Pesa money transfer service on his handset inside a mobile phone care centre in Nairobi, May 11, 2016. /REUTERS

The Central Bank Kenya has reinstated M-Pesa transaction fee for amounts below Sh 1,000- starting January 1,2021.

“CBK will allow the emergency measures to expire on December 31, 2020, and PSPs will introduce revised pricing structures from January 1, 2021,” CBK said in a statement on Thursday.

CBK re-assessed the emergency measures with the objective of consolidating the gains made and also facilitate a transition towards sustainable growth of the mobile money ecosystem.

Starting January 1, 2021 there will be no charge for person-to-person transfers of up to Sh100 to any customer and network.

Transfers between mobile money wallets and bank accounts will incur no charge.

To facilitate the integration of Savings and Credit Societies with the mobile money ecosystem, SACCOs regulated by the Sacco Societies Regulatory Authority may levy a charge for transfers between SACCO accounts and mobile money wallets.

CBK will oversee these charges in the context of the products that banks and PSPs offer to SACCOs.

Going forward, PSPs will propose pricing structures that reflect the “pricing principles” that CBK has introduced.

They include customer centricity, affordability, transparency and disclosure among others

These “Principles” aim to support the development of an efficient, safe and stable payments and mobile money ecosystem where the customer and public interests are adequately protected.

The wallet and transactions limits that were announced on March 16, 2020, will remain in force.

CBK will continue to monitor developments in the payments ecosystem and take any necessary actions.

On March 16, 2020, the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) announced emergency measures to facilitate increased use of mobile money transactions instead of cash, in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.

These measures ran until June 30, 2020, and were extended until December 31, 2020, after a review.

A significant increase of mobile money usage has been noted over the period the measures have been in place, demonstrating that they were timely and effective.

For instance, the monthly volume of person-to-person transactions increased by 87 per cent between February and October 2020.

Over this period the volume of transactions belowSh1,000 increased by 114 percent, while 2.8 million additional customers are using mobile money.

Business-related transactions also recorded significant growth over the same period.