In the midst of the coronavirus outbreak, Kenya’s telco Safaricom proposes a solution that could potentially decrease the rapid spread of the virus. The measures adopted by Safaricom are fairly simple. For the next 90 days, Safaricom will waiver transaction fees, as well as increase the daily limit for transactions.
In the coming three months, M-Pesa users will be able to send amounts to each other below 1,000 KSH. This measure is aimed at containing the spread of the coronavirus by controlling the amount of physical handling of cash – a cause of the virus spread.
CEO Michael Joseph said that the waiver will be effective Tuesday 17th of March 2020. The waiver was made possible following a directive by the President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta which stipulates that mobile service providers must explore new avenues for deepening the dependence on mobile money usage, especially in the aftermath of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Another measure taken by Safaricom is the increase of the daily M-Pesa transaction limits to become 150,000 KSH, which has almost doubled from the previous amount of 70,000 KSH. This move is aimed at small and micro business enterprises (SMEs) in the hope that they remain operational in these pressing economic times.
As for personal use, Kenyans will also be able to transact up to Ksh.300,000 from the current limit of Ksh.140,000, and hold up to Ksh.300,000 in their M-Pesa accounts.
Safaricom CEO added that they are jointly working with the government to provide a Call Center and integrate a toll-free line that has been set up by the National Emergency Response Committee to spread awareness and support to Kenyans in understanding how to prevent and manage suspected corona cases.
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