Reminder: Free mobile money transfers will end on 31st December
The Central Bank of Kenya has announced that the waiver of fees on mobile money transfers below Ksh. 1,000 will end on 31st December 2020 following a consultation it held with Payment Service Providers (PSPs). It noted that there were significant increases in mobile money usage over the period the measures have been in place, demonstrating that they were timely and effective.
The monthly volume of person-to-person transactions increased by 87 percent between February and October 2020 and the volume of transactions below Ksh.1,000 increased by 114 percent, with an addition of 2.8 million customers now using mobile money. Business-related transactions recorded significant growth over the same period.
The regulator however announced that PSPs revised pricing structures that will be effective from January 1, 2021, will not charge for person-to-person transfers of up to Ksh.100 to any customer and network, and there will be no charges for transfers between mobile money wallets and bank accounts. The Savings and Credit Societies (SACCOs) regulated by the Sacco Societies Regulatory Authority (SASRA) have been permitted to levy a charge for transfers between SACCO accounts and mobile money wallets in order to facilitate their integration with the mobile money ecosystem. CBK says it will oversee these charges in the context of the products that banks and PSPs offer to SACCOs.
Also going forward, PSPs will propose pricing structures that reflect ANNEX — a pricing guide that CBK has introduced to support the development of an efficient, safe and stable payments and mobile money ecosystem where the customer and public interests are adequately protected. ANNEX’s key objectives are to increase access, usage, and equity in the provision of digital payments services, improve transparency and disclosure in the provision of digital payments services, foster a business culture underpinned by the primacy of customer’s interest, and to help promote competitiveness and sustainable growth of digital payment services.
CBK assures that it will continue to monitor developments in the payments ecosystem and that the pricing principles it has introduced are based on its mandate of promoting an efficient and effective payment system, and to issue advice and direction while paying due regard to, among other things, efficiency, integrity and public interest. Responsibility for alignment and implementation of these principles rests on the Board of Directors of Payment Service Providers (PSPs) that will be required to:
– Champion these principles in their governance and oversight duties by setting the appropriate “tone from the top” that is aligned to the principles.
– Ensure the formulation of internal policies and procedures that actualize the principles across their entire business operations.
– Hold management accountable for adherence to these principles by staff, business partners, and agents associated with the PSP.
– Ensure timely and accurate submission of information, data, and returns to the CBK as required from time to time.
The implementation of these principles will be carried on a gradual basis as CBK will be periodically engaging PSPs to ensure alignment, identify and promote best practice in the sector.