The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has announced the reintroduction of charges for transactions between mobile money wallets and bank accounts, which were waived on March 16, 2020, as part of the emergency measures to facilitate the use of mobile money in the context of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.
The new charges are significantly lower than those applied before and will apply after January 1, 2023.
According to the CBK, the emergency measures had borne fruit resulting in the following gains between March 2020 and October 2022:
- The number of Kenyans actively using mobile money increased by over 6.2 million. The monthly volume and value of P2P transactions increased from 162 million transactions worth Kshs 234 billion, to 440 million transactions worth Kshs 399 billion. an increase of 171 percent and 71 percent, respectively.
- The monthly volume and value of transactions between PSPs (Payment Services Providers) and banks increased from 18 million transactions worth about Kshs 157 billion, to over 113 million transactions worth Kshs 800 billion, an increase of 527 percent and 410 percent, respectively.
“This outcome confirms that the mitigation measures were timely and effective, and resulted in significant benefits across the financial system. The resumption of revised charges is aimed at building on these gains, facilitate a transition towards sustainable growth of the mobile money ecosystem, and ensuring affordability of payment services for Kenyans,” says the CBK.
These are the new charges:
- The revised maximum charges for transfers from bank accounts to mobile money wallets will be reduced by on average up to 61 percent, and mobile money wallet to bank account by on average up to 47 percent.
- Tariffs for paybills that are used to collect and disburse funds by businesses, companies, and institutions such as schools, utilities, etc, will be reduced by on average, 50 percent.
- The charges levied by banks for bank-to-mobile money transactions will be reduced by on average, 45 percent. The revised charges for bank-to-wallet and wallet-to-bank transactions will be announced by respective PSPs and banks and will be effective from January 1, 2023. CBK reiterates its commitment to facilitate emergence of a payments ecosystem that works for and with Kenyans. CBK will continue to monitor developments in the payments ecosystem and take action where necessary.