CBK Extends Free Mobile Money Transactions

In a statement to newsrooms on Wednesday, June 24, the regulator stated that the measures announced had helped cushion the most vulnerable and would be extended until the end of the year. 

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

“Additionally, the emergency measures are extended and will remain in place from July 1, 2020, until December 31, 2020,” the statement read in part.

Central Bank of Kenya Governor Patrick Njoroge during a press conference in Nairobi on May 28, 2020.

Central Bank of Kenya Governor Patrick Njoroge during a press conference in Nairobi on May 28, 2020.

As it stands, there will be no charge for mobile money transactions of up to Ksh1,000 while the current tariff for transactions above Ksh70,000 will remain.

Additionally, there will be no charge by Payment Service Providers(PSPs) and commercial banks for transfers between mobile money wallets and bank accounts.

CBK noted that there had been an increase in the low-value transactions of Ksh1,000 or less which accounted for over 80 percent of mobile money transactions. 

More than 1.6 million additional customers have switched to using mobile money channels with the bank observing that business-related transactions had declined marginally.

In March 2020, Safaricom announced the slashing of the M-Pesa charges for transactions in accordance with the directive by President Uhuru Kenyatta to explore ways of deepening mobile money usage to reduce the risk of spreading the virus through the physical handling of cash.

The company also announced that it had received approval from the Central Bank of Kenya to increase the daily transaction limit from the current Ksh 70,000 to Ksh 150,000.

“Kenyans will also be able to transact up to Ksh 300,000 up from the current limit of Ksh 140,000 and hold up to Ksh 300,000 in their Mpesa wallets,” read the mobile service provider’s message in part.

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