Money Transfer Within Kenya Part 3
A comment from @alykhansatchu on Money transfer lead to an update of the first post about money transfer from about 3 ½ years ago before the advent of mobile money transfers.
At that time, the cost of sending 10,000 shillings (then about $136) within Kenya was Kshs. 1,700 ($23) with Western Union and 1,850 ($25) with Moneygram – working out to a remittance cost of about 17% – 19% for an instant money transfer. This was mostly done at a few commercial bank branches, some foreign exchange bureaus, and at post offices around the country within banking hours.
A recent post last week noted that Western Union in Kenya have just lowered transfer costs to flat rates of 2% i.e. almost 88% cheaper than what they were at the time.
In the last few years, millions of Kenyans have moved on to mobile phones for money transfer and I can’t recall anyone who uses banks for these transactions. Mobile phone have maximums of about $430 (35,000 shillings) for money transfers, but this is more than enough to cater for most remittances, including the emergencies that necessitate instant transfers.
And mobiles are still cheaper; the 2% western union charge to transfer 10,000 shillings works out to about 200 shillings. A transfer of the same amount by Zap costs 75 shillings (0.75%) and 105 shillings (1.05%) by M-Pesa (after combining sender and receiver fees)
International remittance to get cheaper?: Zain hope to link Zap to allow transfers to customers of Zain in different African countries. And Safaricom are setting up a link for transfers from the United Kingdom to Kenya. When these are established, we should also see the cost of internal remittances, whose sometime high cost is a cause for complaint for many Africans in the Diaspora, also drop significantly.