M-PESA Rates: Cost of Sending & Withdrawing Money in Kenya & Abroad

  • According to Central Bank of Kenya statistics, every month Kenyans receive over Ksh25 billion in diaspora remittances, which translates to nearly Ksh300 billion in year.

    The money ranges from tokens from Kenyans living in the diaspora to their loved ones at home to sort school fees, fundraisers or medical expenses, to big dollar funds for investments in real estate or other ventures.

    Getting this money from say the United States, UK or UAE (the regions with majority diaspora remittances) has been a hustle that often took days or weeks to complete a transaction.

    Senders have often used bank transfers and international money transfer services, which come with their own limitations on getting the money to the recipient.

    However, recipients in Kenya no longer have to worry about that with the launch of M-PESA Global, Safaricom’s International Money Transfer (IMT) service, which has brought the much-needed convenience and speed to sending and receiving money across borders.

    Keep reading this article to find out how you can send and receive money globally using M-PESA, and what Safaricom charges for M-PESA transactions in Kenya and abroad.

    What is M-PESA?

    M-PESA is an electronic wallet service that lets an account holder store, send and receive money on their mobile phone. People can also use M-PESA to transfer cash or buy products and services in stores.

    Once there is money in a user’s M-PESA account, the cash can be withdrawn by visiting an agent (typically in a corner shop) or transferred to others using a menu on their phone.

    That makes it a quick, safe and simple way to make payments and handle money, saving people time and allowing them to focus on other things rather than making trips to the bank.

    What is M-PESA Global?

    This a service that enables M-PESA registered customers to send and receive money globally.M-PESA registered customers will receive the funds from abroad on their M-PESA account.

    What are the benefit of M-PESA Global?

    Sending money to Kenya via M-PESA is a low-cost, fast and safe way to pay, transfer, receive and store money.

    M-PESA works digitally and in real time, which means your friends or family members living, working or travelling in Kenya will receive the money much more quickly than a traditional bank transfer.

    Every transaction is also protected and signed with a PIN, which helps to keep the whole process secure.

    There are also no service charges on an M-PESA account. Instead, the user pays on a pay-as-you-go basis every time they perform a transaction.

    There’s also no minimum amount that can be held in an M-PESA account, so it remains open even when it’s empty.

    M-PESA customers can be able to send funds;

    1. To East Africa: Rwanda, Tanzania & Uganda

    2. Globally: To millions of Bank accounts and over 500,000 Western Union locations globally.

    M-PESA Global East Africa

    East Africa just got closer than you ever imagined. You can now send and receive cash fast and conveniently across the region (Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda) through M-PESA.

    How to send money to an MTN Uganda Subscriber

    1. Dial *840#

    2. Enter your preferred PIN

    3. Select Send Money

    4. Enter destination phone number in the international format e.g. 256xxxxxxxxxx

    5. Enter amount and confirm

    How to send money to an MTN Rwanda Subscriber

    1. Dial *840#

    2. Enter your preferred PIN

    3. Select Send Money

    4. Enter destination phone number in the international format e.g. 250xxxxxxxxxx

    5. Enter amount and confirm

    How to send money to a Vodacom Tanzania subscriber

    1. Go to M-PESA menu and select Lipa na M-PESA.

    2. Select paybill and enter business number 255255.

    3. Enter recipients mobile number as account number in the format 2557XXXXXXXX.

    4. Enter amount, M-PESA PIN and confirm the transaction.

    NB: If you do not have Lipa Na M-PESA on your menu, go to M-PESA, select my account and update menu. A new menu will be sent to you at no cost.

    Cost of sending money to Tanzania

    The charges range from Ksh3 to Ksh220 depending on amount to be sent.

    Cost of sending money to Uganda

    MIN(Ksh)      MAX (Ksh)    SENDER CHARGES (Ksh)

    100                999                 22

    1,000            2,499               33

    2,500            4,999               55

    5,000            9,999               83

    10,000          34,999             110

    35,000          49,999             198

    50,000          70,000             220

    Cost of sending money to Rwanda

    MIN(Ksh)      MAX (Ksh)    SENDER CHARGES (Ksh)

    100                 999                22

    1,000            2,499               33

    2,500            4,999               55

    5,000            9,999               83

    10,000          34,999             110

    35,000          49,999             198

    50,000          70,000              220

    How can one access M-PESA Global service?

    1. By dialling *840# 

    Dial *840#

    Select Opt in

    Read Terms and conditions

    Accept / Decline

    Enter M-PESA PIN

    Then Wait for confirmation SMS

    2. MySafaricom App

    Launch the App, internet connection is required

    Navigate to M-PESA> M-PESA Global > Opt in

    Read and accept Terms and Conditions

    Enter M-PESA PIN and wait for confirmation SMS


    The minimum amount to send is Ksh101 and maximum of Ksh70,000

    The recipient will receive funds in their country’s currency.

    The recipient will be required to have the secret word details (the sender is required to put in a secret word) at the collection point to receive the funds.

    A country's ISO is a 2 LETTER abbreviation for country names e.g. ZA for South Africa, TD for Chad, KE for Kenya, UG, TZ, etc. 

    ISO may not always be the first two letters of the country name.

    M-PESA global partners

    1. Skrill iT

    2. mHits

    3. SkyForex

    4. Mapex

    5. PostFinance

    6. Xpress Money

    7. Western Union

    8. XendPay

    9. World Remit

    10. MoneyGram

    11. Azimo

    Safaricom M-PESA charges and withdrawal in Kenya

    The transaction rates depend on:

    1. The amount of money you’re withdrawing or sending.

    2. Whether you’re sending to registered or unregistered MPESA users.

    3. Sending M-PESA to other mobile networks.

    4. Another factor that affects the rates is the type of transaction (Pay Bill, Buy Goods and Services etc.) 

    Note: The maximum amount one can send is Ksh70,000 in one transaction.

    The maximum you can send in a day is Ksh140,000.

    You can only hold up to Ksh100,000 in your M-PESA account.

    1. Safaricom Withdrawal charges from an M-PESA Agent

    Note that there are not costs levied for transactions below Ksh50.

    MIN(Ksh)  MAX(Ksh)  M-PESA CHARGES (Ksh)

    1                 49               N/A

    50              100               10

    101            500               27

    501           1000              28

    1001         1500              28

    1501         2500              28 

    2501         3500              50

    3501         5000              67

    5001         7500              84

    7501         10000            112

    10001       15000            162

    15001        20000           180

    20001        35000           191

    35001        50000            270

    50001        70000            300

    2. Sending Money from M-PESA to M-PESA charges

    Note that you cannot deposit money directly into another person’s account. You must first deposit into your account before sending the money to the recipient.

    MIN(Ksh)  MAX(Ksh)  M-PESA CHARGES (Ksh)

    1                49                  FREE*

    50            100                  FREE*

    101           500                  11

    501         1000                  15

    1001       1500                  26

    1501       2500                  41

    2501       3500                  56

    3501       5000                  61

    5001       7500                  77

    7501       10000                87

    10001     15000                97

    15001      20000              102

    20001      35000              105

    35001      50000              105

    50001      70000              105

    3. Sending Money from M-PESA to Unregistered Users 

    An M-PESA customer's SIM card has M-PESA active menu on it and can access to all M-PESA services.

    An unregistered customer is one that can only receive money from an M-PESA customer and it can be Safaricom or any other mobile network.

    An unregistered customer can withdraw money sent to them by an M-PESA customer in Kenya from any Agent within 7 days, but cannot carry out other M-PESA transactions.

    Registered customers can also withdraw cash from participating ATM networks.

    Unregistered customers will have to register within 21 days to receive funds via the IMT service.

    The costs for transferring money to unregistered users within the Safaricom network is higher.

    The reason for that is that you incur the withdrawal costs as well as the sending costs.

    MIN(Ksh)  MAX(Ksh)  M-PESA CHARGES (Ksh)

    1                49                  N/A

    50            100                  N/A

    101           500                  45

    501          1000                 49

    1001        1500                 59

    1501         2500                74

    2501         3500                112

    3501         5000                135

    5001         7500                166

    7501         10000              205

    10001       15000              265

    15001       20000              288

    20001       35000              309

    35001       50000              N/A

    50001       70000              N/A

    4. Sending Money from M-PESA to Other Mobile Networks

    If you’re transferring money from M-Pesa to other mobile networks in Kenya such as Airtel or Telkom, here are the charges you’ll incur.

    MIN(Ksh)  MAX(Ksh)  M-PESA CHARGES (Ksh)

    1                49                  N/A

    50            100                  N/A

    101           500                  11

    501          1000                 15

    1001        1500                  26

    1501         2500                 41

    2501         3500                 56

    3501         5000                 61

    5001         7500                 77

    7501         10000               87

    10001       15000               97

    15001       20000              102

    20001       35000              105

    35001       50000              105

    50001       70000              105

    5. M-PESA ATM withdrawal charges

    ATM withdrawal of M-PESA money is possible with select banks such as Co-operative Bank of Kenya, KCB, Standard Chartered Bank etc.

    Note that the maximum you can withdraw from your M-PESA account from an ATM is Ksh20,000.

    Here are the latest ATM withdrawal rates:

    MIN(Ksh)  MAX(Ksh)  M-PESA CHARGES (Ksh)

    200             2500               34

    2501           5000               67

    5001          10000             112

    10001         20000            197