Following a Kenyan government directive, Absa Kenya, formerly Barclays Bank Kenya, becomes yet another major institution in Kenya, after Safaricom, to waive all digital transaction costs below a certain limit in order to encourage use of cashless methods amid the coronavirus pandemic.
In emails and text messages to clients, the bank has discouraged the use of physical cash and pushing its clients to move digital.
Here are the changes made to make it easier for users to transact:
Paying with your Debit Card: Receive a guaranteed cashback of 0.3% every time you pay with your debit card. This offer starts on 25 March 2020 and will continue for 12 months. Cashback will be paid to customers’ current accounts monthly.
Account to Mpesa/Airtel Money: We have waived all transaction fees on money transfer between mobile wallets and bank account until June 30 2020. Additionally, you can now deposit up to KES150, 000 per day through our pay bill number 303030 at no cost.
Timiza: We have waived all transaction fees on money transfer between Mpesa and Timiza until 30 June 2020. Additionally, you can now deposit up to KES50, 000 per day through the Timiza pay bill number 300067 at no cost.
PesaLink: In order to support the transfer of large amounts of money below Kes1 million, we have waived all the fees charged on PesaLink transactions until 30 April 2020
ATM Cash Deposits: Look out for cash accepting ATMs across the country and deposit up to KES100 000 per day for free.
A few days ago, Safaricom, Kenya’s largest telcom and operator of the largest mobile money platform in Africa, M-PESA, made a similar move by eliminating transaction fees for small amounts and increasing daily digital transaction limits in order to encourage cashless transactions.
While this publication has advocated for the use of digital payments like Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies since inception, it is commendable to see this move gain momentum with this directive in a bid to not only reduce infection rates of the virus, but also make it more seamless to transact and trade.
UPDATE: The Central Bank of Kenya has announces a set of measures that commercial banks will undertake in order to alleviate the adverse economic effects their customers may face. See the full statement here.