Safaricom has announced that it has suspends charges for M-PESA transactions below Ksh. 1,000 in response to the Coronavirus crisis in Kenya. Kenya currently have 3 confirmed Coronavirus cases with 45 others being quarantined at the Kenya National HOspital (KNH).
Safaricom announced the new development after a meeting hosted by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) Governor Dr. Patrick Njoroge that included the telco and other industry players. The meeting followed the directive by President Uhuru Kenyatta to explore ways of deepening mobile money usage to reduce the risk of spreading the virus through the physical handling of cash. The President also directed telcos to consider reducing the cost of using mobile money during this period.
All person to person M-PESA transfers below Ksh. 1,000 will now not attract any charges. This will take effect from tomorrow 17th March 2020. This measure will last for 90 days.
CBK has also approved the increase of daily M-PESA transaction limits from the current Ksh. 70,000 to Ksh. 150,000. M-PESA customers will also be able to transact up to Ksh. 300,000 per day up from the current limit of Ksh. 140,000. They will also be able to hold up to Ksh. 300,000 in their M-PESA wallets.
Safaricom is also working with the Government by providing a Call Center and integrating a toll-free line 719. The lines has been set up by the National Emergency Response Committee on Coronavirus to support Kenyans in understanding how to prevent and manage suspected cases. They have also interconnected other networks to ensure that other telco customers are able to access the Call Centre. All calls to 719 are free.