Co-op Bank offering free Mpesa transfer to fight Covid-19

By Reporter

The Co-operative Bank of Kenya is leading in the banking institutions in promoting cashless transactions in the fight against COVID-19.

The bank is allowing it’s customers to transfer money from their account to Mpesa free of charge.

This consequently allows the account holders to operate cashless transactions using Mpesa.

The Bank’s Chief Executive Dr Gideon Muriuki took the decision after the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) announced numerous measures, including the quarantining of banknotes and encouraging cashless payments.

Announcing measures aimed at cushioning Kenya’s economy from the pandemic, Central Bank of Kenya governor Patrick Njoroge also announced that cash collected from banks will be quarantined for at least one week.

“This is enough time to ensure the virus is inactive,” Njoroge said.

The governor also encouraged the use of cashless transactions to reduce the physical handling of money, agreeing with banks to waive mobile-money transfer charges until 30 June in the push for cashless payments.

“In order to avoid the risk of transmission through physical handling of money, we encourage the use of cashless transactions such as mobile money and credit cards,” President Uhuru Kenyatta had earlier said.

“We appeal to mobile operators and banks to take into consideration the situation, and reduce the cost of transactions during this period.”

Government authorities in a growing number of countries, including Kenya and Ireland, are taking actions to encourage contactless payments as the coronavirus pandemic escalates.

The move came as governments worldwide sought to encourage ‘physical distancing’ and heighten awareness of the germ-carrying properties of inanimate objects. There are concerns that coronavirus could be spread by paper money and coins.

The Central Bank of Ireland temporarily prohibited the public from exchanging old or damaged banknotes, while the country’s finance minister asked the banking industry to increase the maximum limit on contactless payments.

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