MTN Cameroon changes Momo fees without informing subscribers
Another arbitrary change in mobile money transaction fees that is unknown to subscribers.
What you will read:
- New MTN Momo withdrawal fees
- New MTN Momo sending fees
- An attempt to explain these new changes
Cameroonians have barely adjusted to the recently imposed 0.2% tax on mobile money transactions initiated by the Cameroonian government in compliance with MTN Cameroon, yet there is another change in transaction fees that has kept MTN Momo subscribers dumbfounded since Saturday 2, 2022. Customers noticed an increase in MTN momo withdrawal fees during the early hours of Saturday’s afternoon, which put them and even Momo merchants (who reported being ignorant of the change in fees) in embarrassing situations. Some customers believed that the increase was a malicious withdrawal trigger by merchants or scammers and hence thought that their accounts were endangered, considering that for the same amount of money (50,000 frs), some customers were charged 800 frs, while others were charged 900 frs or 1,000 frs that same day. They made allegations against Momo merchants, stating that their account had been hacked in to or was liable to be hacked. These instances could have been averted if MTN Cameroon had any regards for its subscribers and their money, and had sent out an official statement informing them of this new change in fees.
NEW MOMO WITHDRAWAL FEES
Before heading to the new fees of Mtn Momo, let us take a look at previous fees for comparison's sake.
Without any further ado, below are the new Momo transactions fees
NEW MOMO SENDING FEES
An attempt to explain these new changes
I am not an economist savvy nor a consultant on Cameroon financial law, but after calling the customer service of MTN Momo (8787), I think that the following piece of text, while waiting for a formal communiqué from the powers that be, will permit us to understand how these new fees apply to our transactions.
Following the 0.2% proportional tax on Momo transactions that Cameroonians barely adjusted to, we now stand at a 2% proportional tax. However, this percentage does not apply to all amount ranges. There are 3 ceiling withdrawal ranges. Subscribers now withdraw any amount below 2500 frs at a fee of 50 frs. That means withdrawing 500 frs and withdrawing 2475 frs cost 50 frs.
From 2,500 frs to 174,999 frs, subscribers now pay 2% of the amount to be withdrawn as withdrawal fee. That is, if a subscriber withdraws 2,500 frs, he or she will be charged 50 frs
(2/100 × 2500 frs= 50 frs), while if he or she withdraws 150,000 frs, it will cost 3,000 frs
(0.02 × 150,000 frs= 3,000 frs). So, the higher the amount to be withdrawn, the higher the withdrawal fees. However, there is some respite from 175,000 frs whose withdrawal fee is fixed at 3,500 frs. Indeed, any amount from 175,000 frs and below 500,001 frs is withdrawn at a fee of 3,500 frs. So, the 2% proportional tax does not apply in this range.
As of April 6, any amount below 100,000 frs sent from a Momo user account (not a merchant account) will be charged 0.5 %. So, sending 15,000 frs from your account will cost you 75 frs (0.005 x 15,000 frs) while 50,000 frs will cost you 250 frs (0.005 x 50,000 frs). From 100,000 frs to 1,000,000 frs, 500 frs is the fixed sending fees.
According to the image above, any amount sent that is below 500 frs will be charged at 0.5% while withdrawing any amount below 3500 frs will cost 2%.
POSSIBLE REASONS FOR THESE NEW FEES
The most plausible and logical reason that comes to mind is that this increase is due to a collective complaint from banks and money transfer companies against telecommunication companies that have started doing electronic money transfers. Initially, telecom companies did not register mention money transfers upon registration of their company. Banks and registered money transfer companies are hence facing an improper competition from a player who’s not even supposed to be in their league. As a reminder, mobile money serves as a money transfer platform, a saving account and, recently, for the case of MTN, as a credit union that gives out loan to its subscribers.
It is no secret that mobile money transactions are more convenient than bank transactions due to their accessibility and ease of use, which account for the great number of subscribers at the detriment of bank and credit union operators. So, these operators are in their right to request a fairer deal in business considering that telecom companies do not pay the same rate of tax as they do for the services with which they compete.
IMPLICATION OF THIS RECENT CHANGE IN FEES
For bankers and unionists, the principal implication of this change will be a reduction in mobile money transactions for the benefit of bank transactions, I believe that they hope so.
For the common person, it will be more hassles while carrying out his or her economic affairs. Mobile money has been steadily accepted as a means of payment during instances of lack of change in every sector of our economy. People use mobile money to pay for their groceries (as low as 200 frs), for their taxi fare, for students’ school fees (as high as 150,000 frs), etc. Hence, this change will directly affect every sector of our economy.
PROPOSED SOLUTIONS TO REDUCE TRANSACTION COST
Reducing transaction cost is quite obvious: withdraw amounts of money close to the range limits and send money from mobile money kiosks. Save or accumulate money on your account up to the range limits before you withdraw it. Always send money from a telecom agency or a mobile money kiosk as they do not require sending fees for any amount. However, remember that time is money and that mobile money transactions save time. There will be situations when moving to a kiosk or agency will be more costly (in time or convenience) than transacting from your phone.