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CBK announces end of free bank-to-mobile money transactions

Kenyans have been enjoying sending money from the bank to their mobile money wallets for free since 2020

CBK Governor Patrick Njoroge hosts the post-MPC press conference on May 31, 2022

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has announced the reintroduction of charges for transactions between mobile money wallets and bank accounts, which were waived on March 16, 2020.

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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.

CBK in a statement said that the new charges, which will be significantly lower than those that applied before, will apply after January 1, 2023.

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.

Following consultations with payment service providers and banks, CBK has reviewed the applicable maximum charges for transactions between mobile money and bank accounts, and their alignment to the Pricing Principles,” the Central Bank said in a statement.

The revised charges for bank-to-wallet and wallet-to-bank transactions will be announced by respective PSPs and banks and will be effective from January 1, 2023.

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