M-PESA is part of Kenyans now because the majority of locals use Safaricom services (the telco has more than 64 percent market share). The product was launched in 2007 and has become very powerful. It commands 99.9 percent of the Kenya mobile money space, and this has been disputed by its rivals and industry experts. The groups say that M-PESA has an obvious market dominance, and there has been a push to spilt the product from Safaricom so that it can be run as a different non-telco entity.
Today, we have also learned that Treasury is planning to slash M-PESA charges, which, according to a consensus, are too high. High charges are hurtful to businesses and many Kenyans who are just trying to make ends meet.
Will this lobby by the Treasury pull through?
In the same spirit, products like Airtel Money have been around for some time too. It is owned by Airtel Kenya, but it is not used as often as possible for obvious reasons. Its charges are also substantially lower than what M-PESA charges and include free transfers among Airtel Money users.
Here are Airtel Money charges for 2022:
|Min||Max||Send to Airtel||Send to other networks||Withdraw from Airtel Money Agent|
- The maximum amount per transaction for Airtel Money has been increased from Ksh. 70,000 to Ksh. 150,000 (this was after adjustements were made following the revision of charges over the pandemic)
- Daily limit for mobile money transactions was boosted from Ksh. 140,000 to Ksh. 300,000
- Airtel Money account balance limit was increased from Ksh. 140,000 to Ksh. 300,000
- The current tariff for mobile money transactions for Ksh.70,000 will apply for transactions up to Ksh. 150,000
- Charges waived for transfers from Airtel Money account to the bank account. This is the same for other mobile money products.