London-based financial technology company, Wise, has temporarily suspended business money transfers to Kenya via M-PESA.
“From 1st of July, we’re temporarily stopping new business transfers to KES via M-PESA wallet,” reads a statement from the fintech.
The change impacts all business-related payments via M-PESA wallets, however, nothing has changed for transfers to local bank accounts in Kenya. This means that Wise users can no longer send payments via the M-PESA wallet to business recipients.
The move also only affects business accounts meaning you’ll still be able to send money to friends and family via M-PESA from a personal Wise account, and for personal-related reasons.
Until the issue is resolved, users won’t be able to make new transfers to an M-PESA wallet from their Wise Business account.
Wise says the move was made because M-Pesa is slow and unreliable. “We’re doing this because sending KES payments via M-PESA wallet to businesses hasn’t been as fast or reliable as we’d like. We’re working hard to fix it, but we don’t have an estimate for you yet.”
The move comes after the Asset Recovery Agency (ARA) in Kenya froze Flutterwave accounts after they were flagged as conduits for money laundering disguised as providing merchant services. Wise was using Flutterwave for their mobile money transfers to Kenya.
A user on Twitter, FBillionaire points out that money received from Wise via Flutterwave has allegedly led to the suspension of their M-Pesa wallets.
Flutterwave messed us people. received money from @Wise like two weeks ago and then shortly got a message that my M-pesa was suspended and now I need my original Id to unblock it.
— Wolf of 420 Street (@Fbillionare) July 8, 2022