Airtel Money has secured the green light to elevate mobile money thresholds to KES 500,000, allowing its users to engage in daily transactions up to this amount, a considerable jump from the previous KES 300,000 limit.
Not long ago, Safaricom revealed updates to its M-PESA wallet, bumping up its limit to KES 500,000 from the earlier KES 300,000. This roughly translates to just above $3,400. They also indicated a daily transaction enhancement, climbing to KES 500,000 from the former KES 300,000.
Following suit, Airtel Money confirmed similar increments after obtaining the necessary permissions from the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK). Consequently, Airtel mobile money aficionados in Kenya can now accommodate and transact up to half a million Kenyan shillings daily. But akin to M-PESA, there’s a cap set at KES 150,000 for individual transactions.
Expressing her enthusiasm, Airtel Money’s head, Anne Kinuthia-Otieno, remarked, “We’re thrilled by CBK’s move as it tremendously benefits our clients and collaborators, granting them leeway for greater transactions and better financial management.”
This move is poised to benefit a broad spectrum of clients, from government bodies to other involved parties.
When we peek at the market dynamics, M-PESA indisputably leads the mobile money arena, boasting a whopping 96.5% market share as of March 2023. Airtel Money trails in second place with 3.4%, while Telkom Kenya’s T-Kash barely registers with 0.1%.
Despite endeavors by the Kenyan central bank and related entities to even out the mobile money environment, M-PESA remains unshakeable. The platform dominates Kenya’s financial transaction framework. They have integrated numerous payment channels recently, albeit retaining a majority share.
One significant move could be the possibility of agency cooperation. This could allow Airtel Money and T-Kash users to leverage M-PESA’s expansive agency framework. Some progress has been noted; M-PESA’s payment mechanisms are now compatible with Airtel Money and T-Kash. However, this hasn’t dramatically altered the balance of power.
Rumors hint at M-PESA potentially offering its vast agency network to rivals, which could spur growth for them. Nonetheless, without official confirmation and given the significant investments in M-PESA’s infrastructure, Safaricom might be reluctant to share its prized network.