12 tips to avoid hefty Mpesa, Airtel Money and Bank charges

The year is 2023 and Mpesa to bank, Airtel Money to Bank, Bank to Mpesa transaction charges have resumed in earnest after some sabbatical thanks to the Corona Pandemic. If you are rational, the charges have started to bite and sting bitterly. These charges may seem insignificant but when consolidated, they run into hundreds and thousands of shillings per month. Take your bank/Mpesa statement for the last 6 months and sum up the charges.

Banks have rolled out their respective Bank to Mpesa charges after being granted the go-ahead by Central Bank. Safaricom also re-instated the transactional charges. Where do you run to?

Here are some few tips that you will employ going forward to avoid/reduce these charges:

1. ATM withdrawals and deposits

ATM transactions are relatively cheap as compared to regular Mpesa withdrawals. Consider doing a bulk ATM withdrawal for consolidated needs/expenses.

ATM deposits- Some banks like ABSA, KCB etc have made it possible to make ATM deposits. Are you paying rent? Do it at the ATM. Avoid Mpesa deposits to banks via Paybill numbers.

2. Deposit via Bank Agents

You had ran away from bank agents but this is the time to return, shamelessly. Deposits at bank agents are free for all banks/Saccos. Why would you deposit money into your Mpesa and then transfer to bank via Paybill numbers only to be deducted transfer charges?

3. Get into the LOOP

LOOP is a mobile banking service by NCBA bank. It is so rich in features that you can pay to Mpesa Paybill and Till numbers for free! What more, you can sign up to the platform for free. It is more or less a bank account.

4. Join SACCOs with free Paybill numbers

There are some few SACCOs which have free Mpesa Paybill numbers for example, K-UNITY SACCO. You will transfer money to your Sacco account from Mpesa for free. Ask your Sacco if they have a free Paybill number.

5. Buy Safaricom and Bank shares

If you can’t beat them, join them. A Kikuyu saying goes like “Even when the owner’s house is burning, he also gets warmed by the fire”. Safaricom and Tier 1 Banks are likely to report more profits this year from these non-funded incomes. Don’t be a pawn! Buy the shares of these companies and wait for dividends. Viva!

6. Always pay via Till numbers

Most businesses have Till numbers. Make it a habit of paying from Mpesa to Till numbers or from your Till number to another Till number. Avoid person-to-person (P-2-P) payments where possible.

7. Withdraw via Till number

Some merchants will allow you to send money to their Mpesa Till number and they will give you cash. Sending to most, if not all, Till numbers is free.

8. Swipe that card

Doing shopping or fueling your guzzler, just swipe your card for free. This saves you the risk of cash handling and withdrawal charges.

9. Do bulk shopping

It goes without saying that regular payments from Mpesa or bank increase your attendant/running costs. Make a habit of making one bulk purchase. It will save you a lot.

10. Hustle more

Over and above working to reduce or eliminate these charges, increase and improve your hustle. Get a side business/hustle that will give you an extra coin.

11. Pesalink

This is an interbank money transfer method powered by Kenya Bankers Association (KBA). It is relatively cheaper compared to the normal Real-Time Gross Settlement, RTGS especially when doing interbank transfers. It is available on most mobile banking platforms. Seize the moment and save on your expenses.

12. Pay via Airtel Money

Airtel to Airtel money transfer is free. Seize the opportunity and evade the charges.

It’s a wrap. Know of another way to beat these hefty charges? I am listening. Viva!

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