Will Equitel Money Transfer Charges Force Safaricom to Reduce Mpesa Charges?

Equity Bank’s Equitel money transfer services are just beginning, and many Kenyans are hoping that Equitel charges will be cheaper than Safaricom Mpesa charges. MPESA has been a revolutionary product, wildly successful at changing the way Kenyans do business.

Yet a common complaint among Kenyans has been about the “high” Mpesa Charges. The new money transfer service, Equitel Kenya, is expected to offer much lower charges.

Equitel call rates are expected to be at same level, or even more expensive than those offered by Safaricom, Orange Kenya, Airtel and TelKom Kenya.

Much of the buzz around Equitel Kenya launch was the expectation that cheaper Equitel services would lead to lower costs for voice, internet (data) and mobile payment – Mpesa charges. But why would Equitel charges be less when the mobile services market is already very profitable under the current rates?

Link your SIM to your Equity Bank Account

Equitel money transfer works by linking your Equity bank account to your SIM, enabling customers to pay bills for KPLC, digital TV, new NHIF rates, deposit into SportPesa and more. Equitel Kenya will enable Equity customers do banking more conveniently through their mobile phones and computers, in addition to voice calls and access to internet services. With Equitel, one can access their Equity bank account, pay bills and move money to MPESA, Orange Money and Airtel Money.

Lower Equitel Money Transfer Charges

Equitel Money Transfer ChargesEquitel money transfer charges will only apply during withdrawals, with the over 9.1 million Equity bank customers enjoying free Equitel money transfers.

Withdrawing mobile money will attract maximum charges of Ksh25, and already many MPESA agents are applying to also become Equitel agents.

Currently, Safaricom Mpesa charges start at Ksh1 to send Ksh10 (the minimum amount you can send via M-pesa), and peak at Ksh110 to send the maximum amount allowed, Ksh70,000.

For M-PESA withdrawals, the minimum is Ksh10, and the maximum Mpesa charges for withdrawing money are Ksh330. If Equity keeps its word and caps Equitel withdrawal charges at Ksh25, Kenyans can definitely expect Safaricom to lower their Mpesa charges to remain competitive with the lower Equitel money transfer charges.