MTN mobile money users to shoulder higher charges

Thursday May 9 2013



Mobile money users now have to pay more to send or receive money following a transaction rate increase by MTN, a leading industry player in mobile money transfer services.

The telecommunications company announced yesterday that it had revised its rates for sending money to both registered and non-registered Mobile Money users, withdrawing and paying for goods, services and bills.

The rates which have gone up by between Shs100 and Shs1,200 took effect yesterday. MTN’s chief marketing officer Ernst Fonternel said the adjustments seek to enable the telecommunications company to improve service delivery and ensure a sustainable business model for the future.

“The new tariffs are guided by our understanding that we need to constantly improve and sustain the robustness and availability of the MTN Mobile Money services across the country,” he said in a statement.

He added that the tariff increase will also facilitate an increase in the agent network commissions to ensure that they get better rewards on high value transactions and enable MTN to invest in the platform to bring innovative and relevant services.

However, a telecom analyst who asked not to be named because he is not authorised to speak on behalf of any telecom company, said MTN’s tariff adjustment move could have been prompted by reports that the government plans to impose a tax on mobile money financial transactions in the next financial year, which is just a month away.

The government plans to increase and also introduce new taxes in the next financial year, including imposing a tax on mobile money transactions which is expected to generate Shs48.2 billion.

Mobile money services have become popular among Ugandans due to their convenience and low transaction costs when compared to commercial banks. The volume of money transacted through the platform has also grown substantially over the years, hitting Shs11.7 trillion last year, up from the Shs3.75 trillion wired through the platform in 2011.