In a move that might only be labelled as crazy, Ugandan telcos have been reported to cut the commission that mobile money agents earn during transactions. Airtel Uganda has taken the front-row seat in making the cuts. The company sent a message to its agents alerting them that they had revised agent commission for deposits and withdrawals, as well as commission earned from the sale of airtime.
So far, only Airtel Uganda has announced their new commission rates, MTN is yet to make a public statement in regard to the matter.
According to a report by TechJaja, Airtel Uganda agents will earn UGX.10,000 (Kes.266) for a UGX.4 million (Kes.106,480) deposit which is UGX.2,000 (Kes.53) less than the current amount. Also, an agent will earn UGX.15,000 (Kes.399) for a withdrawal of an amount between UGX.4 million and UGX.7 million (Kes.186,341) down from UGX.16,500 (Kes.439).
No More Scratch Cards
This rate cut comes in the wake of the Uganda Communications Commission placing a ban on all airtime scratch cards in Uganda as from June 30, 2018. The ban is said to have been effected after a number of agents were found to have illegally increased the retail price of airtime. “We have noted complaints raised and we apologize for the inconvenience caused by agents who have decided to impose their own recommended retail prices of our airtime vouchers,” MTN Uganda Manager for Corporate Communications, Val Okecho told PC Tech Magazine.
The ban of airtime scratch cards will see Ugandans buy airtime through electronic means such as mobile money or third-party vendors. The government of Uganda, had also proposed a tax on Mobile Money transactions, which, if effected, would see the government earn quite a significant amount from all the transactions.
Uganda mobile money agents are also at the risk of loosing their livelihoods as MTN, the country’s biggest player, is in the process of implementing mobile money ATMs thus rendering the agents jobless.