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Kenya turns to M-Pesa mobile-money to stem the spread of COVID-19

Wednesday 18 March 2020 11:11 CET | News

Kenya-based telco Safaricom has announced implementing a fee-waiver on East Africa’s mobile-money product, M-Pesa.

The aim is to reduce the physical exchange of currency in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The company announced that all person-to-person (P2P) transactions under USD 10 would be free starting Tuesday 17 March 2019 for the next 90 days.

The move came after Safaricom met with the country’s Central Bank and per a directive from Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta “to explore ways of deepening mobile-money usage to reduce risk of spreading the virus through physical handling of cash,” according to a release provided to TechCrunch from Safaricom.

To encourage the use of digital payments over cash, the East African telecom will also allow SMEs to increase their daily M-Pesa  transaction limits from ≈ USD 700 to USD 1,500. The measures represent the ability of the Kenyan government to use digital finance as a lever to influence social distancing and P2P transactions in an infectious health crisis.


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Keywords: Safaricom, M-Pesa, telco, partnership, direct carrier billing, mobile payments, Africa, mobile money usage, P2P transactions, digital finance, payments
Categories: Payments & Commerce | Mobile Payments
Countries: Kenya
This article is part of category

Payments & Commerce