The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has announced the resumption of charges for transactions above Ksh 100 effected through bank-specific (in-house) mobile money wallets that are closely linked to the Savings and Credit Societies (SACCO) sector.
The regulator in a statement issued Thursday said the SACCO sector is deeply integrated into these wallets and accounts for a significant share of their transactions.
“Through them, banks provide SACCOs with an important bridge to the domestic and cross border payment systems. A recurring concern has been that the viability of these services may be adversely affected in the current price regime, given the inability to cover the underlying costs,” CBK said.
With their resumption, CBK will review the charges in line with the principles of customer-centricity, transparency and disclosure, fairness and equity, choice and competition and affordability, announced on December 17.
These principles were introduced on the expiry of the emergency measures waiving charges for low-value mobile money person to person transactions below Ksh.1,000. Other measures on waiver of charges between mobile money wallets and bank accounts remained in force.
Banks in Kenya typically deploy two types of mobile banking wallets. In the first model, banks partner with payment service providers to utilize their mobile money
wallets to provide a variety of transactions through customers’ bank accounts.
In the second model, banks invest directly in their own in-house mobile banking wallets to facilitate mobile money and other wallet based financial services. This second model typically involves a third party as a technology provider.