Public reacts as MTN introduces charges on MoMoPay

The introduction of charges on MTN MoMoPay for fuel purchases has left Ugandans cursing that it will be impossible for Uganda to achieve a cashless economy if telecommunication companies continue charging exorbitant fees on mobile transactions. 

MTN Uganda in a post via X on Friday announced that the telecom giant had introduced charges on MoMoPay transactions in the Oil and Gas Sector.

“We carried out a tariff adjustment in the MoMoPay Oil and Gas sector (fuel stations, effective immediately,” the post read in part.

The announcement added that; “Customers will be charged when they use MoMoPay to pay for fuel at all fuel stations that accept MoMoPay.” For example, fuel worth Shs 50,000 fuel purchase will attract a charge of Shs 850. 

Following this announcement, Ugandans took to X to comment on MTN Uganda’s decision to introduce charges on MoMoPay, with the majority saying the move would compel them to consider using cash for transactions. 

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UGLawyer replying to MTN’s post said; “No, why would I opt for momo pay where I’m going to incur an extra charge when I have an option of moving with cash where I don’t incur any extra cost? But yes, we’re in the struggle for a cashless economy.” 

Another commenter, Ali Ndhote said; “It’s like we’re being penalised for paying using Momo and being encouraged to carry cash.”

Journalist Sarah Biryomumaisho replying to the same post commented; “This is why Uganda won’t go cashless anytime soon. Each time we take a step forward, we take 3 backwards. Sad.”

Isaac Ssemmanda said MTN should have introduced a “small standard charge” instead of rolling out tariffs based on the amount of fuel consumed. 

Eric Musyoki agreed with Ssemanda, saying, “Why not have a standard charge for using MOMO pay? Why get charged more in some areas than others?” 

Emmanuel Welishe, a marketing consultant, said, “Cash is king. So apparently the whole ploy of promoting MoMo cashless was to eventually charge people for transactions once they get hooked. One is better off with  one single charge off withdrawals and paying cash all through because next year these tariffs will go higher.”

Commenting on MTN’s decision, E Najjuko took to X and asked Bank of Uganda; “Is this the right step to a cashless economy? As a regulatory authority is this a step in the right direction to foster and enable trade?” 

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According to Bank of Uganda statistics, the value of mobile money transactions significantly increased by 22.6% to Shs 191. 3 trillion in June 2023 compared to Shs 156 trillion recorded in June 2022. 

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