Over the years, M-PESA has been an integral part of the lives of Kenyans from all walks of life. Be it in a crowded matatu heading to school or in a restaurant enjoying a sumptuous meal, M-PESA has been used in one way or another to settle bills and even to save one from rather embarrassing situations.
Kenyans have generally embraced the M-PESA services since inception by Safaricom in 2008 and some have even gone as far as putting complete trust in the service by actually saving their salaries in M-PESA accounts as opposed to banks and making transactions on a daily basis for free.
As from 1st December 2015, transactions made from registered bank accounts to M-PESA accounts will no longer be free of charge as Safaricom seek to have banks and other users pay for services rendered when transferring money as in the case of M-PESA transactions from one person to another. This move has already received a clean bill of health from the Central Bank of Kenya and all other banks are advised to notify their customers of the same before the action is implemented in December.
Though this may be termed as a blow to the already heavily taxed Mwananchi , Safaricom sought to clarify that the new developments in relation to third party transactions are not a revision of the already existing M-PESA transaction charges but a new service that they have introduced in the mobile banking service.
This move is set to involved over 30 registered banks in Kenya and more than 160 other financial institutions.