Kenyan parliament to vote on increasing mobile payment and money transfer service taxes

Mobile Phone

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta’s proposed increase in taxes on mobile payments and other money transfer services will be voted on in Parliament tomorrow (Thursday 20 September).

According to Reuters, the proposed increase in excise duty on mobile money transfer fees will take it from 10 to 12 percent, while a 20 percent excise duty on the fees charged by banks, money transfer services, and other financial institutions per money transfer has also been suggested.

The latest proposals are part of a budget designed to fund the President’s Big 4 Agenda which covers a range of government development goals including universal healthcare and affordable housing.

Back in June, Kenya’s biggest mobile phone operator Safaricom, part owned by Britain’s Vodafone, voiced their opposition to any tax rise on mobile phone-based transfers, arguing that it would mainly hurt the poor, most of whom do not have bank accounts and rely on mobile transfer services such as their widely used M-Pesa.

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