Cape Times

Sa­fari­com halves M-Pesa fees as it tar­gets smaller busi­nesses

- Siob­han Cas­sidy Business · Kenya · Namibia · Safaricom

SA­FARI­COM will be cut­ting Lipa Na M-Pesa mer­chant fees by half as it tar­geted small and medi­um­sized en­ter­prises for growth in its bid to “ex­tend the gains of mo­bile money 10 years af­ter its launch in Kenya”.

The mo­bile telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions com­pany that pi­o­neered mo­bile money ser­vices said yes­ter­day the new fee, a max­i­mum of 0.5 per­cent of the trans­ac­tion amount down from 1 per­cent, would be ef­fec­tive from next week.

In ad­di­tion, Sa­fari­com said, Lipa na M-Pesa mer­chants would be charged a flat fee of 200 Kenyan shillings (R24.60) for any pay­ments above Ksh40 000.

“We trust that this devel­op­ment will boost the at­trac­tive­ness of the Lipa Na M-Pesa plat­form to more small and medium en­ter­prises while mak­ing the ser­vice more af­ford­able com­pared to other al­ter­na­tives in the mar­ket,” said Bob Col­ly­more, Sa­fari­com’s chief ex­ec­u­tive.

In ad­di­tion, Sa­fari­com said the M-Pesa Kadogo tar­iff, which al­lows cus­tomers to make small trans­ac­tions for free, would be ex­panded for Lipa Na M-Pesa Buy Goods to en­able mer­chants to re­ceive all trans­ac­tions of Ksh200 and be­low at no cost.

Also mer­chants would ben­e­fit from in­stant pro­cess­ing of many more trans­ac­tions made through Lipa Na M-Pesa with the ser­vice now avail­able at 23 par­tic­i­pat­ing banks. This cuts the time it takes to move money from a Lipa Na M-Pesa till to a bank ac­count from as much as 28 hours down to sec­onds.

The re­duc­tion of the Lipa Na M-Pesa tar­iffs and in­clu­sion of more fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions un­der Real Time Set­tle­ments tar­gets small and mi­cro busi­nesses, such as kiosks, bod­abo­das (mo­tor­cy­cle taxis), mata­tus (minibus taxis), newspaper ven­dors, hawk­ers and small eater­ies in a coun­try where up to 80 per­cent of peo­ple are em­ployed in the in­for­mal sec­tor.

The Sa­fari­com changes in Lipa Na M-Pesa will be ef­fec­tive from next week.

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