Kenyans will from Tuesday send and receive up to Sh1,000 through M-Pesa for free until June, Safaricom #ticker:SCOM has said as it heeds to a plea by President Uhuru Kenyatta in the wake of the coronavirus spread to Kenya.
President Kenyatta, announcing two more cases of Covid-19 infections on Sunday, Kenyans to use of cashless transactions such as mobile money and credit cards to cut the risks of contracting the disease. He also urged telcos and banks to reduce the transactions costs.
On Monday, Safaricom said, following talks with the Central Bank of Kenya and other industry players, they agreed to waive the charges for all transactions below Sh1,000.
“This means that from tomorrow morning (Tuesday), M-Pesa users will be able to send any amount below Sh1,000 for free over the next 90 (ninety) days,” said acting CEO Michael Joseph in a statement.
M-Pesa charges Sh15 for transfer of up to Sh1,000 to registered M-Pesa users and Sh49 for unregistered users, and Sh28 for withdrawals.
The Nairobi Securities Exchange listed telecom also doubled the amount of money that an M-Pesa user can send or withdraw per transaction from the current to Sh70,000 to Sh150,000 and set the daily limit at Sh300,000 up from Sh140,000.
Subscribers will also be allowed to hold up to Sh300,000 in their M-Pesa wallets.
Kenya has so far reported three cases of Covid-19 since Friday with 27 people placed under isolation as the government steps up efforts to curb spread of the virus.
The government has also banned the entry of travellers from coronavirus-hit countries, closed schools indefinitely and encouraged work from home.
All payment service providers and lenders will also waive transaction fees between mobile money wallets and bank accounts until June 30 as part of the emergency measures.