Safaricom to charge banks for transferring funds to M-Pesa wallets

Leading Kenyan operator Safaricom has announced it has introduced charges to banks for transferring funds from accounts of third-party M-Pesa wallets.

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) approved the charges, which will become effective on December 1, at the end of last week, closing what Safaricom had described as a “loophole”.

Safaricom said the charges for bank to M-Pesa transfers will be similar to those currently charged on person-to-person transactions, with up to 190 financial institutions set to be affected by the new charges.

The company said a number of banks and financial institutions had been using the existing M-Pesa infrastructure to extend the transfer of funds from customers’ bank accounts to third party M-Pesa wallets. It said the new charges were a new service, rather than a revision of existing charges.

“We have already and received the requisite approvals from the Central Bank of Kenya. Subsequently, we have written to our partner banks and financial institutions notifying these charges,” said Safaricom director of corporate affairs Stephen Chege.

However, these charges will now come into effect on December 1 2015. This will allow banks and financial institutions ample time to communicate to their customers about the service.”

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