In a statement dated December 23, 2020, the telecom giant announced it will be restoring charges to money transfer transactions.
Safaricom had waived charges for sending money below Ksh 1,000 in March 2020 as to ease the effect of the covid-19 pandemic in the country.
“Our regulator, the Central Bank of Kenya under the leadership of Dr Patrick Njoroge has been instrumental in the formulation of this and other measures across the financial sector which have resulted in significant gains in the form of the ongoing economic recovery.
“As guided by the CBK and taking into account the principles on the pricing of mobile money services, we have taken the decision to reduce our M-PESA tariffs by up to 45 per cent for lower value transaction bands,” the statement read in part.
The action by Safaricom was warranted by the expiry of the zero-rated MPesa transactions and the ongoing Covid-19 and economic situation in the country.
The telecom company announced that all transactions below Ksh 100 will remain free, however, those between Ksh 101 and Ksh 500 will cost Ksh 6 down from Ksh 11. Transactions between Ksh 1,501 and Ksh 2500 will cost Ksh 32 down from Ksh 41.
“In addition, customers will continue to enjoy free transactions between Mpesa and bank accounts. The price cuts are permanent. effective January 1, 2021, and will enable our more than 26.8 million customers to continue enjoying lower costs whenever they send money,” Safaricom declared.
“Our new, reduced tariffs will apply to transactions for micro-businesses under our new Pochi la Biashara service, and for Lipa na M-PESA businesses using the transacting till to make payments,” the statement concluded.
The announcement by Safaricom proceeds a decision by Parliament to lift the Pay as You Earn (PAYE) and Value Added Tax (VAT) tax cuts imposed in early 2020 to shield Kenyans against the pandemic.
VAT will be restored to 16 per cent while businesses will be required to pay 30 per cent tax up from 25 per cent starting January 2021.