Safaricom triples daily M-Pesa limits to $3,478

Tuesday August 15 2023

Safaricom PLC Chief Executive Officer Peter Ndegwa at a past event. PHOTO | POOL


Safaricom has more than tripled the daily transaction limits on its mobile money platform to Ksh500,000 ($3,478) after receiving the central bank’s approval, strengthening its capacity to compete with commercial banks in the lucrative digital payments market.

The telco has also allowed individuals and businesses to hold half a million shillings in their M-Pesa wallets from Tuesday as mobile money evolves from person-to-person payments to an e-commerce tool.

M-Pesa users were previously allowed to hold up to Ksh300,000 ($2,086) in their wallets. The regulators have in the past raised concerns over the money laundering risk associated with mobile money, preferring to take a cautious approach in raising the limit.

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But those concerns appear to be diminishing, with this being the second time in three years that the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has allowed Safaricom to raise the account and daily transaction limits.

“We appreciate the role that the Central Bank of Kenya has played by constantly providing guidance on innovations and protections that we have put in place to strengthen M-Pesa’s adherence to Know Your Customer (KYC) guidelines, anti-money laundering and other financial regulations and safeguards,” said Peter Ndegwa, the CEO of Safaricom.


Increased transactions on M-Pesa also quickens the country’s march to a cashless economy, which gathered momentum at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The increased account limits will provide customers and especially small businesses with increased convenience as the share of cashless transactions continues to rise,” Mr Ndegwa said.

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The approval also gives Safaricom a stronger footing to compete with banks that have recently become aggressive in financial technology, especially payment solutions.

Banks are allowed to transact up to Ksh999,999 ($6,956) through the inter-bank mobile payment channel, PesaLink, giving them an edge over M-Pesa.