M-Pesa users will for the next three months send amounts below Ksh.1,000 for free, in a move aimed at reducing the risk of spreading the coronavirus through the physical handling of cash.
In a statement issued on Monday, Safaricom CEO Michael Joseph said the waiver, which takes effect from Tuesday, March 16, was made following a directive by President Uhuru Kenyatta that mobile service providers explore ways of deepening mobile money usage in the aftermath of the COVID-19 outbreak.
“…all person-to-person transactions below Ksh1,000 shall be free. This means that from tomorrow morning, M-PESA users will be able to send any amount below Ksh.1,000 for free over the next 90 (ninety) days,” reads the statement.
At the same time, Safaricom has approved the increase of daily M-Pesa transaction limits from the
current Ksh70,000 to Ksh150,000 to cater for small and micro business enterprises (SMEs).
Kenyans will also be able to transact up to Ksh.300,000 up from the current limit of Ksh.140,000, and hold up to Ksh.300,000 in their M-Pesa accounts.
President Kenyatta on Sunday urged mobile service providers to consider reducing the cost of using mobile money to enhance the use of cashless payments as the country fights to contain coronavirus transmission.
Meanwhile, the Safaricom CEO says the company is working with the government by providing a Call Center and integrating a toll-free line 719 which has been set up by the National Emergency
Response Committee on Coronavirus to support Kenyans in understanding how to prevent and manage suspected cases.
“We have also interconnected other networks to ensure that their subscribers can access the Call Centre. All calls to 719 are free. We remain committed to working with all stakeholders to help our nation through this crisis,” added Safaricom.