27.4 C
Brisbane
Friday, October 30, 2020

Kenya turns to M-Pesa mobile-money to stem the spread of COVID-19

Must read

FACEBOOK WATCH: South Sudan Finance Minister airlifted to Nairobi after an abrupt illness.

NCMP found on a Facebook page disturbing news about the health of the country finance minister, Hon. Athian Diing Athian.

Kenya: High Court nullifies 23 laws passed without the Senate’s approval

Twenty-four laws passed by the National Assembly without the input of the Senate have been declared unconstitutional by the High Court.

UPDF shoots South Sudan soldiers dead over illegal roadblock

The Uganda People's Defence Forces (UPDF) has shot dead two South Sudanese soldiers who had reportedly erected an illegal roadblock on the...

SSPDF Repulsed UPDF’S Incursion

According to a letter seen by NCMP from the office of SSPDF Spokesman dated October 29th, the letter stated that on October...

TECHCRUNCH 16 MAR 2020

Kenya’s  largest teleco, Safaricom,  will implement a fee-waiver on East Africa’s leading mobile-money product, M-Pesa, to reduce the physical exchange of currency in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The company announced that all person-to-person (P2P) transactions under 1,000 Kenyan Schillings (≈ $10) would be free starting Tuesday for the next 90 days.

The move came after Safaricom met with the country’s Central Bank and per a directive from Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta “to explore ways of deepening mobile-money usage to reduce risk of spreading the virus through physical handling of cash,” according to a release provided to TechCrunch from Safaricom.

To encourage the use of digital payments over cash, the East African telecom will also allow SMEs to increase their daily M-Pesa  transaction limits.
From 70,000 Kenyan Schillings to 150,000 (≈ $700 to $1,500).

The measures represent the ability of the Kenyan government to use digital finance as a lever to influence social distancing and P2P transactions in an infectious health crisis.

M-Pesa has 20.5 million customers across a network of 176,000 agents and generates around one-fourth ($531 million) of Safaricom’s ≈ $2.2 billion annual revenues (2018). The company has held nearly 75% of the mobile-money market share in Kenya for nearly a decade and the country has the highest mobile-money usage rates in Africa.

In some respects, having all that output on one platform represents systemic risks to Kenya’s economy.  But in the case of a global health pandemic spread by human contact, the dominance of mobile money in the country provides a policy tool to encourage digital versus physical contact on a wide scale through financial transactions.

Kenya has only three cases of COVID-19 (aka the coronavirus), according to Worldometer, but the country is taking cautionary measures. President Uhuru cancelled two foreign meetings due to the virus, the University of Nairobi shut down classes and a number of companies in the country are encouraging workers to telecommute, according to local sources and press reporting.

- Advertisement -

More articles

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -

Latest article

FACEBOOK WATCH: South Sudan Finance Minister airlifted to Nairobi after an abrupt illness.

NCMP found on a Facebook page disturbing news about the health of the country finance minister, Hon. Athian Diing Athian.

Kenya: High Court nullifies 23 laws passed without the Senate’s approval

Twenty-four laws passed by the National Assembly without the input of the Senate have been declared unconstitutional by the High Court.

UPDF shoots South Sudan soldiers dead over illegal roadblock

The Uganda People's Defence Forces (UPDF) has shot dead two South Sudanese soldiers who had reportedly erected an illegal roadblock on the...

SSPDF Repulsed UPDF’S Incursion

According to a letter seen by NCMP from the office of SSPDF Spokesman dated October 29th, the letter stated that on October...

DEATH BY HANGING: IS THERE NEED TO REFORM SOUTH SUDAN’S DEATH PENALTY LAW?

The imposition of death penalty as punishment for a variety of crimes dates as far back as the Eighteenth-Century B.C and since...