Safaricom opposes proposed tax hike on mobile money transfers in Kenya

Safaricom CFO Sateesh Kamath said Monday that the company firmly opposes a proposed tax hike on mobile phone transfers that the Kenyan government wants to impose to help raise revenues, according to a Reuters report. 

"Increased excise duty on mobile money transfers will negatively impact mobile led transfer services and payments and slow down the government's drive towards a cash-light economy," Kamath said in the report.

Kamath added that the proposed two percent tax increase (from 10 percent to 12 percent) would negatively affect unbanked citizens who rely on services such as Safaricom's M-Pesa as a bank account alternative. 

"It would be unfortunate to reverse the gains we have made through mobile led financial inclusion in the past few years," Kamath said in the report.

Kenya's finance minister, Henry Rotich, said he hopes to use the revenue from the tax increase for universal health care in the country. 


Topics: Carriers / Operators, Money Transfer / P2P, Regulatory Issues

Companies: M-PESA


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