CBK announces end of free mobile-money transfers
The waiver of fees on mobile-money transfers below Ksh. 1,000 is to cease from January 1, the Central Bank of Kenya has said.
A statement released on Thursday indicated that charges for transfers between banks and mobile will remain.
“Following consultations with Payment Service Providers (PSPs), CBK will allow the emergency measures to expire on December 31, 2020, and PSPs will introduce revised pricing structures from January 1, 2021,” the Central Bank said.
CBK however noted that there will be no charge for person-to-person transfers of up to Ksh. 100 to any customer and network.
In addition, there will be no charges for transfers between mobile money wallets and bank accounts.
To facilitate the integration of Savings and Credit Societies (SACCOs) with the mobile money ecosystem, CBK said entities regulated by the Sacco Societies Regulatory Authority (SASRA) 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. 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 statement adds.
On March 16, 2020, the CBK announced emergency measures to facilitate increased use of mobile money transactions instead of cash, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The measures ran until June 30, 2020, and were extended until December 31, 2020, after a review.
According to the Central Bank, significant increase of mobile money usage was noted over the period that the measures were in place, demonstrating that they were timely and effective.
“For instance, the monthly volume of person-to-person transactions increased by 87 percent between February and October 2020. Over this period the volume of transactions below Ksh. 1,000 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,” the regulator added.
CBK said it reassessed the emergency measures with the objective of consolidating the gains made so far and also facilitate a transition towards sustainable growth of the mobile money ecosystem.