MTN wants Mobile Money clients unsubscribe interest on their deposits

Per the Bank of Ghana regulations, operators are required to pay interest on clients’ deposits[/caption] Telecom giant, MTN Ghana, has issued notice to its Mobile Money customers asking them to follow through some steps to be exempted from receiving interest on their mobile money account if they so wish. MTN Mobile Money is a fast, simple, convenient, secure and affordable way of transferring money, making payments and doing other transactions using a mobile phone. Per paragraph 10(5) of the Bank of Ghana Guidelines for E-Money Issuers in Ghana (2015), operators of mobile money are required to pay not less than 80 per cent of the interest accrued on the pooled money to subscribers. Since September 2016, telecom companies operating mobile money have been paying interest on the deposits of subscribers. The interest ranges between 1.5 per cent to 7 per cent. But MTN Ghana has since earlier this week, been sending messages its subscribers asking them to dial a shortcode to opt out of receiving interest on their mobile money deposits. “Yellow valued customer, if for any reason you do not wish to receive interest on your mobile money wallet, kindly dial *595# and follow the steps. Kindly send through your request by 22nd April, 2017 to be exempted from the next payment…” the message read. [caption id="attachment_48436" align="aligncenter" width="450"] A copy of the notice sent out to clients of Mobile Money[/caption] It is unclear what has necessitated the need to send the messages to subscribers, and whether the new decision of the operator flouts the Bank of Ghana guidelines, particularly paragraph 10(10). Paragraph 10(10) of the guidelines states: “Any E-money issuer (operator) which fails to comply with the requirement under Sub-Paragraph (5) above shall pay to the Bank of Ghana a fine not exceeding 2,500 penalty units”. [caption id="attachment_48434" align="aligncenter" width="816"] Schedule of payment of interest on deposits. Courtesy Bank of Ghana[/caption] At the commencement of payment of interest on deposits of customers of mobile money, some subscribers criticized operators for what they described as insignificant interests earned on their deposit. Some subscribers received as low as 15 pesewas on their deposit which they deemed as insult.

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