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Banks announce new charges to send money between accounts & mobile wallets

Banks have announces return of transaction charges plus 20% excise duty tax

Portrait of handsome young man wearing white sweatshirt and black bucket hat, using mobile phone. Studio shot on black background.

Kenyan banks have signalled a resumption of charges on any transfer of money between bank accounts and mobile wallets from January 1, 2023.

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This move has been widely publicized by various commercial banks, who have been sending text messages to their customers reminding them of the new directive.

Dear Customer, we wish to advise that following the lifting of Covid-19 relief measures on mobile transaction fees by the CBK, effective 1 January 2023, the usual mobile money transfer fees will apply on transfers from account to Mpesa/Airtel Money. The charges range from Sh11 - Sh70 for transactions above Kes 100 plus 20% excise duty,” read a text message from a local bank.

On December 6, CBK announced the reintroduction of charges for transactions between mobile money wallets and bank accounts, which were waived on March 16, 2020.

The charges were waived in 2020 as part of the emergency measures to facilitate the use of mobile money in the context of the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.

When the charges were waived, the payments ecosystem in Kenya expanded significantly.

The number of Kenyans actively using mobile money increased by over 6.2 million. The monthly volume and value of person-to-person transactions increased from 162 million transactions worth Sh234 billion to 440 million transactions worth Sh399 billion.

The monthly volume and value of transactions between payment service providers and banks increased from 18 million transactions worth about Sh157 billion to over 113 million transactions worth Sh800 billion.

CBK said this outcome confirms that the mitigation measures were timely and effective, and resulted in significant benefits across the financial system.

The resumption of revised charges is aimed at building on these gains, facilitating a transition towards sustainable growth of the mobile money ecosystem, and ensuring the affordability of payment services for Kenyans.

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