Safaricom customers paying between Sh100 ($0.81) and Sh500 ($4.05) in paybill charges will now be charged Sh4 ($0.032), down from Sh23 ($0.19) in new tariffs applicable from Sunday, the company has announced.
Transactions below Sh100 have been zero-rated, the company said.
These are part of new charges for money transactions between customers and businesses, amid increased demand for mobile payment services.
Payments between Sh500 and Sh1,000 ($8.10) will cost Sh9 ($0.073), down from Sh23 while those between Sh50,000 ($405) and Sh150,000 ($1,215) will cost Sh105 ($0.85), down from Sh210 ($1.70).
Meanwhile, businesses sending money to customers will be charged Sh5 ($0.041) for payments between Sh100 and Sh1,500 ($12.16), compared to the current Sh15.27 ($0.12) while payments between Sh20,000 ($162.07) and Sh150,000 will now cost Sh12, down from Sh22.4.
“In the new changes, business to M-Pesa charges have been reduced by an average of 41 per cent while M-Pesa Paybill charges have been reduced by an average 47 per cent. The paybill tariffs is also applicable to customers sending money to bank,” the company said.
The reduction of paybill charges comes at a time many businesses have switched to using the platform after ditching the Lipa Na M-Pesa Buy-Goods payment option that eats into their incomes. Safaricom has also announced new charges for transactions between bank accounts and M-Pesa where bank to M-Pesa transaction charges have been reduced by an average of 61 percent and M-Pesa to bank charges have been reduced by an average of 47 percent.
This is after the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) two weeks ago announced the reintroduction of charges for transactions between mobile money wallets and bank accounts after negotiation with lenders and mobile money payment firms.
The CBK waived the charges in March 2020 as part of measures that were put in place by the government to facilitate the use of mobile money to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Boost lenders earnings
The reinstatement of the charges will boost the earnings of lenders who record income from transactions as part of their non-funded income, and mobile network operators who derive significant sums of their income from mobile money transactions.
“The reduced M-Pesa to bank tariff will also apply to all M-Pesa paybill payments that customers use for utilities such as electricity, hospital bills, schools, government payments etc. to ensure affordability,” said Safaricom in an earlier statement last week.
The CBK said the number of Kenyans actively using mobile money increased by over 6.2 million during the waiver period, while the monthly volume and value of person-to-person transactions increased from 162 million transactions worth Sh234 billion ($1.9 billion) to 440 million transactions worth Sh399 billion ($3.2 billion).
Further, the monthly volume and value of transactions between payment service providers (PSPs) and banks increased from 18 million transactions worth about Sh157 billion ($1.3 billion) to over 113 million transactions worth Sh800 billion ($6.5 billion).