Safaricom has intimated that it may soon begin charging for financial transactions, two years after the levies were lifted due to Covid-19.
For the six months ending September 30, 2022, the telco reported a profit of Ksh33.47 billion, a decrease of 10% year over year. However, the company said it expects the bank transactions charges to be reinstated in the future.
“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 fees associated with transferring money between mobile money wallets and bank accounts were eliminated by the Central Bank of Kenya in the year 2020; however, these fees were not eliminated for Saccos, which are overseen by the Sacco Societies Regulatory Authority (SASRA). CBK stated in December 2020 that such saccos may impose a fee on transactions between sacco accounts and mobile money wallets.
Both Safaricom and the banks stand to lose billions of shillings in transaction fees over the next two years due to the halt in charging.
A fee of between Ksh30 and Ksh197 was applied to most bank-to-M-Pesa transfers until the service was temporarily discontinued.
CBK has been reluctant to bulge despite ongoing discussions between Safaricom and the banking sector to reintroduce the levies.
The news from Safaricom shows progress in the negotiations, which would result in fees for Kenyans who wish to transfer money from their bank accounts to their mobile wallets.
Growth in both M-Pesa consumers (8.6% to 31.17 million) and revenue (8.7% to Ksh56.86 billion) were seen during the time period under review.
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