The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: M-Pesa Charges to Go Up Starting Today

It will from today cost you as high as Sh330 for a single M-Pesa transaction.

The cost of withdrawing Sh50,001 to Sh70,000 goes up by Sh30 from Sh300 while transferring the same amount increases by Sh10 to cost Sh110. Sending or withdrawing between Sh101 to Sh500 will attract a Sh27 charge, up from Sh25.

This follows a 10 per cent increase on all M-Pesa transaction charges. The government introduced a 10 per cent excise duty on transaction fees for all money transfer services by cellular phone providers, banks, money transfer agencies and other financial service providers.

Safaricom will however pay the 10 per cent tax for 'poor' consumers, transacting amounts below Sh100.

"We did not think it was right to increase for the lower transactions, we will absorb the cost," said Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore on phone.

Sending Sh10 to Sh49 costs Sh3 and its free to withdraw, Sh50 to Sh100 amounts attract a Sh5 charge to send and Sh10 to withdraw. M-Pesa contributes about 18 per cent of the company's total revenues, according to the first half 2013 results. It has 16 million users.

yuMobile, which has 800,000 users on its yuCash, might also pass on the tax cost to its users.

"Yes, we might be constrained pass it on, though the final decision is yet to be made.

If we were in a better financial position, we would have absorbed the charge," Madhur Taneja, the yuMobile CEO said on Monday.

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