Today, Safaricom has announced that they have waived MPESA fees for person to person transactions below Kshs 1000 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
This was a great move since it meant that there will be no need to carry physical cash to buy products that would warrant close contact between people.
Safaricom had also thought about the business side of things and they inked an interesting deal with the regulator, the Central Bank of Kenya.
Regarding SME’s, the Central Bank of Kenya has approved the increase of MPESA transaction limits from the current Kshs 70,000 to Kshs 150,000. Kenyans will also be able to transact up to Kshs 300,000 up from the current limit of Kshs 140,000 and hold up to Kshs 300,000 in their MPESA wallets.
This deal is interesting since this was a regulatory hurdle that Safaricom wanted to be lifted for MPESA. In 2018, the company wanted the Kshs 140,000 daily MPESA limit be increased.
According to a Business Daily article from 2018, the telco was in talks with the CBK to double the daily limit owing to the rapid evolution of the mobile money platform from person to person payments and being an e-commerce tool.
A lot of money is moved on MPESA every quarter. As per the latest Sector Statistics from the Communications Authority, Kshs 1.7 trillion was moved on MPESA between July and September this month. People move a lot of money on MPESA and it was high time the transaction limits were increased.
Well, it has taken the global COVID-19 pandemic to make this a reality.
The Central Bank of Kenya has issued a press release about their emergency measures to facilitate mobile money transactions.
Press release: Emergency Measures to Facilitate Mobile Money Transactions pic.twitter.com/py6FIsvYdH
— Central Bank of Kenya (@CBKKenya) March 16, 2020
The above measures apply to all mobile money platforms and will be effected from midnight March 16, 2020 until June 30, 2020.
They have also announced that they have eliminated charges for transfers between mobile money wallets and bank accounts.