MTN Mobile Money Uganda Ltd has paid out Shs19.7bn to its customers in the past three quarters, after it started paying interest on customers’ mobile money account balances in September 2022, in compliance with the National Payment Systems (NPS) Act, 2020.
KAMPALA, UGANDA | NOW THEN DIGITAL — MTN Mobile Money Uganda Ltd has announced that it paid Shs19.7bn ($5.5m) to customers in the past three quarters since the company started paying interest on customers’ mobile money account balances.
This move comes after the National Payment Systems (NPS) Act, 2020 was enacted, requiring mobile money operators to pay interest on customer balances.
Quarterly interest payments
The managing director of MTN Mobile Money Uganda Ltd, Richard Yego, reported that the company paid Shs5.7bn to 19.9 million customers in the second quarter, Shs5.56bn to 19.7 million customers in the third quarter, and Shs8.5bn to 20.5 million customers in the fourth quarter of 2022.
“We are pleased to announce that our interest payout to our customers especially in the fourth quarter is on the upward trend owing to the diversification of our investments. The MTN Mobile Money Uganda Ltd Board of Trustees invested in call deposit and average balances held by trust bank on daily basis,” Yego said.
“We hope that this pay-out will enhance financial inclusion, leading to substantial development and social well-being of the citizens as the country strives to achieve Vision 2040,” he added.
Diversification of investments
Yego stated that the MTN Mobile Money Uganda Ltd Board of Trustees had invested in call deposits and average balances held by trust banks on a daily basis.
This has led to an increase in the interest payout to customers, especially in the fourth quarter, and the company hopes to maintain this trend.
The company expects to record a five per cent increase in the interest payout to customers in the next quarter, driven by an increase in interest rates and treasury bill rates.
Yego noted that the average interest payout to customers remains low because financial institutions and merchants hold high average balances in their wallets.
Encouraging financial inclusion
Yego hopes that the interest payout will enhance financial inclusion, leading to substantial development and social well-being of the citizens, as the country strives to achieve Vision 2040.
He added that customers need to save more on their mobile money platform to earn better interest rates.
Calculation and notification of interest payments
Interest payouts to customers are calculated based on their daily average mobile money balance over three months. Customers receive SMS alerts once the interest has been paid.
However, the interest payout is subject to withholding tax and standard withdrawal charges, and cash balances in mobile money accounts that have not registered any transaction for 15 consecutive months are transferred to the Bank of Uganda.
MTN Mobile Money Uganda Ltd has fulfilled its obligation to pay interest on customers’ mobile money account balances. The company hopes that the interest payouts will encourage financial inclusion and lead to the development and well-being of Ugandan citizens.
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