“Prepare to pay 10% more for every M-Pesa transaction that you will carry out as from 8th of February 2013,” this is what Safaricom is telling its M-Pesa users.
Safaricom said in a statement that the upward shift in the M-Pesa tariffs is due to the recent amendments to the Customs & Excise Duty Act gazetted on 1st February 2012. This new amendment will see the government charge all mobile phone carriers, banks and financial service providers 10% excise duty tax for all money transfer services. The government sees this as a very effective way to raise extra money for its ever increasing financial obligations.
These new changes will only affect transactions that are above Kshs 101 and transactions below this amount will remain unchanged.
Bob Collymore, Safaricom CEO said the understanding that the money transfer services need to be sustained and be available throughout the country is what generally guides the M-Pesa tariff structure. He added that this ensures that the company continues to invest in its platform and distribution network.
Mr. Collymore continued to say that being the country’s largest taxpayer, Safaricom supports the government’s attempts to fulfill its financial obligations but it is premature to tax mobile money transactions at this time as it would negatively affect the financial service sector.