Mobile phone giants, MTN, are tweaking their tariffs in the area of mobile money transfers in some African countries with the aim of reducing contact with cash amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The latest developments are in Uganda and Cameroon where the operator is waiving costs on transfers done with their mobile money platform. The MTN Uganda offer included among others:
- For 30-days, customers can send up to Ushs 30,000/- (about $8) Mobile Money every day to other MTN MoMo customers free of charge. The offer is meant to reduce the risk of transmission by avoiding the physical exchange of currency notes.
- The offer comes alongside a day-time data bundle that will enable Ugandans stay on-line and work from home. Customers will get 1GB of data at just Ushs 2,000 valid between 9am and 5pm.
- MTN is also complementing government’s sensitization drive by availing UGX 500 million ($130,000) in cash and free media channel space (radio, tv, social media, SMS, call centre IVRplatform) to promote the Ministry of Health’s sensitization messages.
MTN Cameroon said the suspension of payment of fees starts today: “Within the framework of its response plan to the health crisis caused by the Coronavirus / COVID-19, MTN Cameroon announces the suspension, effective Friday, 20 March 2020, of the payment of fees on money transfers between MTN Mobile Money accounts.
“This measure suspending the payment of fees concerns money transfers for amounts up to 20,000 FCFA (twenty thousand francs). The measure will be limited to 3 transactions per day, per account, and will be valid for a period of 30 days. This may be reviewed based on the evolution of the health crisis.
“MTN Cameroon, by suspending the payment of money transfer fees between Mobile Money accounts, seeks to provide its support in the fight against this Coronavirus, by reducing the use of cash as much as possible, and favoring distance payments,” an official statement of March 19 read in part.