Three Kenyan Telcos Safaricom, Airtel and Telcom have waived transaction fees for customers across all their networks The telcos have waived fees on their mobile money transfer services M-Pesa, T-Kash and Airtel Money for transactions below Ksh1,000 ($10). Airtel went a step ahead to waive all transactions on mobile money across all bands using Airtel money.
The agreement was reached during a meeting with the Central Bank of Kenya Governor, Dr Patrick Njoroge, he encouraged telcos and all industry players to support the use of mobile money and other forms of cashless payments. The aim herein is to minimize the use of physical cash in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The virus spreads from person-to-person between people who are in close contact with one another. Respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths. Through noses of nearby people or be inhaled into the lungs.
A person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or their eyes. Although this is not the accurate way the virus spreads.
In this case, having people continue with cash transactions will make them more vulnerable to get in contact with infected persons thus contracting the virus.
The meeting with the regulator resolved to introduce a broad raft of measures. That will further incentivize the use of cashless transactions, as directed by His Excellency the President, Uhuru Kenyatta. A move that the telcos have fully embraced.
All the three telcos have waived all person to person transactions below ksh1000 will be zero-rated.
In a company statement, Telcom announced that the daily T-Kash limit per transaction increases from KSh70,000 to KSh150,000, with the daily sending limit being reviewed upwards from KSh140,000 to KSh300,000. More importantly, any transactions between KSh50,000 up to KSh300,000 will attract a rate of KSh100. All other fees remain unchanged.
While on Safaricom’s end, the Safaricom CEO Michael Joseph noted that “This means that from today Tuesday 17th March. M-Pesa users will be able to send any amount below Ksh1,000 for free over the next 90 (ninety) days,”
To add on, the CBK has also approved the increase of daily M-Pesa transactions limit from the current Sh70,000 limit to Sh150,000 for SMEs. Kenyans will also be able to transact up to 300,000from the current limit of Sh140,000. Customers will also now access an increased wallet limit of KSh 300,000 from KSh 100,000.
Airtel has further waived transactions for all the bands for the next 90 days. Increased daily transaction limit from Ksh70,000 to Ksh150,000. Daily limit from 140,000 to Ksh300,000.
The telco’s in partnership with the government. Have set up atoll free line 719 where customers can access information and updates on COVID-19. A move that will enable Kenyans has a better understanding and knowledge on how to prevent the spread of the virus. As well as manage suspected cases.