M-PESA customers have been limited to a little over $1000 in daily transaction caps for a long time. This changes today as the telco also increases its wallet limit.

Safaricom’s M-PESA customers can now hold up to KES 500,000 ($3,480 in the current exchange rate) in their wallet accounts following approval from the Central Bank of Kenya. The changes will take effect from August 15.

Safaricom has also increased the daily transaction limit to KES 500,000 ($3,480) per day. The current per transaction limit of KES 150,000 ($1,043) remains unchanged, allowing customers to conduct multiple transactions up to the daily limit of KSh 500,000 ($3,480).

Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa believes the rise in cashless transaction limits would help small businesses conduct business better. “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, especially small businesses, with increased convenience as the share of cashless transactions continues to rise,” he commented.

According to the telco, this adjustment is set to cater to businesses with higher transaction values, particularly small and medium enterprises, as the proportion of cashless transactions grows.

Safaricom backs this claim with some key numbers. For instance, from the last financial year to March 2023, more than 606,000 businesses received payments through Lipa Na M-PESA, with a total of KES 1.625 trillion ($11.3 billion) transacted in the 12 months. Lipa na M-PESA contributes about 40% of the carrier’s service revenue. The mobile money product is the telco’s biggest earner among other M-PESA-related products.

In the same period, M-PESA’s revenue grew 8.8% to KES 117.19 billion ($816 million), backed by increased usage and chargeable transactions. These numbers, however, were lower than those recorded in the previous financial year. Safaricom said this was due to macroeconomic effects. 

Other key M-PESA stats (as of March 2023)

Safaricom said in a report that its one-month active M-PESA ARPU rose 1.9% to KES 311.28 ($2). Transaction value and volumes rose 21.4% to KES 35.86 trillion ($250 billion) and 33.5% to KES 21.03 billion ($146 million), respectively. Charges for M-PESA to bank transactions resumed on Jan 1, 2023, with reduced tariffs. M-PESA agents, where users go to withdraw or deposit cash, grew 0.1% to over 262,000. 

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