Safaricom hints at return of charges on banking transactions

By , K24 Digital
On Fri, 11 Nov, 2022 10:49 | < 1 min read
Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa
Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa at a past function. PHOTO/Peter(@PeterNdegwa_)/X

Safaricom has hinted that it might soon start charging banking transactions, two years after the charges were dropped due to Covid-19.

While reporting a 10 per cent drop in profits to Ksh33.47 billion for the six months that ended on September 30, 2022, the telco said it anticipates return of the bank transactions charges.

"Safaricom will soon be launching new products and services in the second half of the financial year, including the M-Pesa Go product to enhance child safety and sound financial knowledge to children below 18 years as well as the anticipated return to charging on banking transactions," the telco said in a statement.

The Central Bank of Kenya in 2020 suspended charges for transfers between mobile money wallets and bank accounts, but retained the same for Saccos regulated by the Sacco Societies Regulatory Authority (SASRA). CBK, in December 2020, said that such saccos may levy a charge for transfers between sacco accounts and mobile money wallets.

The suspension of the charges has seen both Safaricom and lenders miss out on billions of shillings that they could have collected over the two years by levying transaction charges.

Prior to the suspension of the charges, most bank-to-M-Pesa transactions attracted fees ranging from Ksh30 to Ksh197.

Safaricom talks with CBK

Safaricom and the banking sector have been involved in talks with the regulator to have the charges reinstated, although CBK has been reluctant to bulge.

The announcement by Safaricom indicates a breakthrough in the talks, a move that will see Kenyans transferring money from bank accounts to their mobile wallets incur charges.

During the period under review, Safaricom's one-month active M-Pesa customers rose by 8.6 per cent to 31.17 million while M-Pesa revenue grew by 8.7 per cent to Ksh56.86 billion.

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