The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has announced that it is resuming bank mobile wallet charges for transactions above Ksh.100.
CBK indicated that it will include wallets that are closely linked to the Savings and Credit Societies (SACCO) sector noting that SACCO’s accounts for a significant share of their transactions.
“A recurring concern has been that the viability of these services may be adversely affected in the current price regime, given the inability to cover the underlying costs. This is a significant risk for SACCOs and their extensive membership due to the lack of other alternatives to connect to the mobile money ecosystem,” CBK said in a press release.
The resumption of charges will provide space to increase the connection options for SACCOs. They will be subject to review by CBK against the pricing principles announced on December 17, 2020 of customer-centricity, transparency and disclosure, fairness and equity, choice and competition and affordability.
These principles were introduced on the expiry of the emergency measures waiving charges for low-value mobile money person to person transactions below Ksh.1,000. Other measures on waiver of charges between mobile money wallets and bank accounts remained in force.
Banks in Kenya typically deploy two types of mobile banking wallets. In the first model, banks partner with payment service providers to utilize their mobile money wallets to provide a variety of transactions through customers’ bank accounts.
In the second model, banks invest directly in their own in-house mobile banking wallets to facilitate mobile money and other wallet based financial services. This second model typically involves a third party as a technology provider.
CBK said it will continue to monitor developments and support the growth of the payments ecosystem to ensure choice, competition and affordability.