M-Pesa, which has more than 14m subscribers in Kenya, could be forced to increase transaction costs by 10% as East African nation’s treasury looks to impose a levy on transactions made using the mobile money transfer service.
Though Kenya’s treasury says it expects mobile operators to absorb the costs rather than passing them on to consumers, analysts warns this is unlikely.
It also appears likely that rival services will be forced to impose the levy on their mobile money solutions. Local operators have warned the move could have a negative effect on investment in the region and the sector.
M-Pesa was introduced in early 2007 by Safaricom and handles about 2m daily transactions worth 2bn shillings (R206m). The proposed 10% levy came a day after Airtel Kenya announced it would allow subscribers to send money via M-Pesa for free, although withdrawal transactions still carry a small fee.
The Central Bank of Kenya recently released data showing that the value of money transferred through mobile platforms increased by 41% in the first half of this year, even though the number of customers grew at a slower pace. Source: The Standard
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