MPESA and Airtel Money daily transaction limits increased to Kshs 500,000 after CBK approval

Safaricom’s MPESA and Airtel Kenya’s Airtel Money subscribers can now transact up to Kshs 500,000 via their mobile money accounts following an approval by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK).

The higher account limit will be effective from today – Tuesday August 15, 2023 – for all M-PESA and Airtel Money customers.

“We appreciate the role that the Central Bank of Kenya has played by constantly providing guidance on innovations and protections that we have put in place to strengthen M-PESA’s adherence  to KYC, anti-money laundering and other financial regulations and safeguards. The increased account limits will provide customers and especially small businesses with increased convenience as the share of cashless transactions continues to rise,” said Peter Ndegwa, the CEO of Safaricom.

In addition to the higher account limit, M-PESA customers now have an increased daily transaction limit of Kshs 500,000 per day. The current per transaction limits of Kshs. 150,000 will however remain. As part of the review, MPESA customers can make as many transactions up to the Kshs 500,000 daily limit.

The move is set to be a boost for businesses in the country, especially SMEs, as the share of cashless transactions continues to rise. In the last financial year to March 2023, more than 606,000 businesses were receiving payments through Lipa Na M-PESA, with a total of Kshs 1.625 trillion transacted in the 12 months.

As for Airtel Money, the platform has increased the daily transaction limit for its customers from the current Kshs 300,000 to Kshs 500,000 effective August 15, 2023.

Anne Kinuthia-Otieno, the Airtel Money Kenya MD, expressed her enthusiasm for the development, stating: “We are elated about the CBK’s decision as this change will significantly empower our customers and partners by providing them with the flexibility to conduct larger transactions and manage their finances more effectively.”

The increase in the daily transaction limit is expected to benefit a wide range of Airtel Money customers, including businesses, government agencies, among others. It will also support the growth of the digital economy in Kenya.

“This is a positive step as it has very positive economic benefits for the Kenyan economy,” said Anne Kinuthia-Otieno, the Airtel Money Kenya MD. “Businesses can now conduct their operations more conveniently, efficiently, and consumers can access a wider range of goods and services contributing to economic growth, job creation, and improved financial stability in Kenya.”

The strategic move aligns with Airtel Money’s commitment to enabling seamless and affordable digital transactions to all Kenyan citizens and businesses. The company recently announced that it has tripled its number of mobile money agents and targets to close at 120,000 agents by the end of 2023.

The daily transaction limit will increase from the current Kshs 300,000 to Kshs 500,000. The limit per transaction will remain at Kshs 150,000 and customers can transact multiple times upto the limit of Kshs 500,000 daily.

According to the Communications Authority of Kenya’s (CA) latest industry stats, mobile money subscriptions in the country stood at 38.4 million translating to a penetration rate of 76 percent, a drop of 2.2 percentage points as a result of reduced activities in mobile money services during the quarter under review. The number of registered mobile money agents increased by 3.9 per cent to 331, 065.

The CA report, for the period between between January to March 2023, states that the decline in the subscriptions is attributed to reduced activities in mobile money services during the quarter under review.


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