Consumers lose out as Safaricom and Equity tariff wars intensify
Monday, August 24, 2015
A fresh storm is brewing between Kenya’s financial services giants, Safaricom and Equity Bank, over the rates being levied to consumers making transactions across the two service providers. The latest wars also puts to question the security of money sent across both platforms, with consumers paying the ultimate price.
The latest round of controversy comes as Equity accuses Safaricom of arbitrarily increasing the mobile money transfer rates charged to Equitel’s consumers transferring money to Safaricom’s M-Pesa service. Consumers of Equitel last week took to social media after finding out that the rates for sending money to M-PESA had suddenly doubled without prior notice. They stated on Twitter that the cost had risen on account of Safaricom increasing its termination rates stating that Equitel’s prices are capped at Sh27.50.
Previously, Equitel to M-Pesa transfers were charged a uniform Sh33 per transaction. This meant that Equitel to M-Pesa transfers were cheaper than M-Pesa to M-Pesa transfers for amounts above Ksh1,500. This made Equitel a more attractive proposition, just as it looked to gain market share, especially from M-Pesa, a new higher tariff rates are now in operation.