Kenyans could soon go back to paying charges for cash transfers from bank accounts to their mobile money wallets.
Banks are already in talks with the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) to bring back customers’ transfer of money from bank accounts to mobile money wallets.
Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) chief executive Joshua Oigara says the lender is in talks with CBK and hopes for a deal that will either allow full or discounted charges before close of the year 2021.
“Customers are getting more transactions digitised. We are working with CBK to get fees and commissions on these transactions. This is a good opportunity to look at the charges. I don’t see the charges going back to the levels they were before [the pandemic]. We see a discounted level of charges on the mobile transactions,” said Oigara.
The freeze of the charges saw the lenders record fall in fees and commissions.
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A return of the charges will be a boost to banks who have forgone revenue in an environment of increased digital transactions.
Banks are losing millions per month due to the free transfers between them and wallets such as M-Pesa.
Fee waivers on bank to money wallets came as a relief for Kenyans who were feeling the COVID-19 economic heat.
In six months to June this year, KCB’s mobile banking transactions surged 70 percent on the back of eased pandemic restrictions.
Oigara says this could compensate for the discounted rates.
“A number of players have led the way with reduced charges. I believe the volume acceleration can more than compensate for discounted rates,” said Mr Oigara.
CBK in April announced resumption of charges of bank to mobile wallets that are linked to the Sacco sector, prompting lenders such as Co-operative Bank to roll out discounted rates.