We are shifting from using KES 0 for a transfer, to over KES 100 if moving the cash from wallet to bank to wallet. That’s a lot of money. Personally, I don’t believe transaction charges should exist. Money should be able to move the way it has always been moving, freely. Companies offering these services should find profits in other ways. As they have done so in the few years transactions charges haven’t existed.

The obvious way to avoid these charges is: USE CASH 

. And of course you could have figured that out yourself, I know. But as we both know, since we are all already so accustomed to mobile money – it is easier, safer and faster – it is not possible to go full cash.

Withdraw in Bulk

Transfer cash to M-Pesa in bulk in cycles, depending on weekly/monthly budget

Shift to digital banks that allow direct payments

Use interest earning products like Mali

Always carry some cash.

If you want to shift to cash (as we all are more likely going to do), make sure to withdraw in bulk. That way you avoid the constant small fees paid when you withdraw small amounts using mobile money. Use ATMs if withdrawing from Bank to avoid charges when sending to M-Pesa, followed by withdrawal fees.

From the linked articles above, you will notice that M-Pesa to Bank charges aren’t as expensive as Bank to M-Pesa charges. So if you have money on your bank, and want to use it, move it in bulk to your M-Pesa in cycles, depending on your budget. Bulk transfers are cheaper compared to smaller amounts.

For example LOOP 

allows me to make payments directly to an M-Pesa paybill or till number without extra charges. So now, I need not move money to my M-Pesa account. Other banks should jump on this bandwagon and make payments easier, faster and free. Mali 

allows you to earn interest daily no matter the money you have in the account. It has no transaction fees, and you can deposit and withdraw money to M-Pesa at any moment. I use it, and I am considering having it hold most of my budget money, as a way of avoiding Bank to M-Pesa charges, while also earning an interest. There may be other money market 

funds that may allow for immediate withdrawals.

For a long while now, many of us have never interacted with physical cash. It seems that needs to change. So after withdrawing in bulk, always make sure you have a good amount of cash with you should a business use a Paybill number or require transfer to a bank account, which would have you incur charges. Many businesses are also seemingly shifting from Till Numbers (which are free on customer side, but costly on the business.)

Do you have any other suggestions on avoiding or reducing transaction charges? Lay them in the comment section.

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