Users of mobile banking money transfer services have a reason to smile.
This follows recommendations by the National Treasury to reduce transaction costs.
National Treasury Ukur Yatani revealed plans to cut Mpesa transaction charges amidst outcry by Kenyans on high rates charged by the service.
Yatani while addressing the Senate stated that there was an urgent need to make Mpesa less expensive, especially now that the mobile money platform has become part and parcel of their business and daily lives.
“Another source of concern with mobile money stems from the perception by both consumers and small businesses that the rents from digital technology are unfairly accruing to Safaricom Plc,” Yatani said.
He added: “This is in the area of unconscionable/excessive rates and Safaricom being a critical trading partner for SMEs and consumers, we will soon be presenting some proposed amendments to deal with this scenario.”
Largest mobile money service provider
Safaricom is Kenya’s largest mobile money service provider company by market capitalization, surpassing the country’s two other mobile operators, Airtel Kenya and Telkom Kenya.
Previous reports by the treasury show several financial services are interlinked with Mpesa and if the service collapses, there would be widespread disruption to the economy.
Since the inception of Mpesa in 2007, the mobile money transfer service has grown to offer fully-fledged financial services offering loans, savings and merchant payment services.
The fintech service (Mpesa) is Safaricom’s most profitable venture, commanding 98 per cent of the country’s mobile money market share according to a November 2020 report.
The platform also accounts for services to over 51 million customers across Kenya, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique, Lesotho, Ghana and Egypt.