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Mobile Phone companies yet to renew user fees moratorium

Malawians will continue paying user fees on mobile money transactions despite financial challenges due to Covid-19.

The Reserve Bank of Malawi-RBM had been re-engaging mobile phone companies to renew the moratorium on cash out fees.

In April last year, the central bank ordered the removal of fees charged when people send money using mobile wallets on Airtel Money and TNM Mpamba platforms.

This arrangement was introduced to cushion consumers and ease the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

According to RBM Spokesperson, Onellie Nkuna, the bank re-engaged mobile phone network operators in August, last year, following the expiry of the three month moratorium.

Image result for onellie nkuna reserve bank of malawi
Nkuna-RBM has been re-engaging mobile phone companies

Nkuna explains that the engagement was meant to negotiate with the operators to rescind their decision of re-introducing transaction fees on mobile money.

But she says while the operators’ user fees were reinstated, mobile phone companies have reduced the cash out fees as well as the fees charged when sending and receiving money via same platforms.

“This move was done to reach out to the wider population- high fees when one is cashing out had been a major concern for a fairly long time by the general public. In addition to this, you might wish to note that one mobile money operators went a step further by scrapping off user fees on procurement of electricity units,” Nkuna added.

She cites an example of Airtel Malawi which has scrapped off user fees on procurement of electricity units, saying this is in response to the concerns.

During the pandemic most financial institutions and mobile money service providers have witnessed an increase in digital transactions.

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