Mobile Money charges in Uganda: A complete list of mobile money rates across all the providers

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Mobile money banking in Uganda has matured beyond proof-of-concept stage to mainstream adoption. The current mobile money penetration in Uganda is at 18 million users which is close to half of the population of Uganda.

The industry is so lucrative that most mobile telecom networks have the service.In 2013/2014 financial year 22.2 trillion shillings (about $8.5 billion) was transacted through the mobile money system.  However, this has also attracted government tax on mobile money transactions to the tune of 10%.

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Mobile money providers in Uganda

Of the six mobile telecom providers in Uganda which include MTN, Airtel, Africell/Orange, Smart, Vodafone and Uganda Telecom, only 4 of them offer mobile money services. Smart Telecom is rumored to launch its Mobile money service mid this year while Vodafone hasn’t yet announced such plans.

The mobile money networks are trading with the following mobile money brands;

MTN Uganda –> MTN Mobile money
Airtel Uganda –> Airtel Money
Africell/Orange –> Orange Money
Uganda Telecom –> M-Sente

Transactions on mobile money

Mobile money allows registered  customers can send money to other registered users on the same network or unregistered users or to users on other networks. The platform also enables users to initiate person-to-business transactions such as buying for utilities and goods and services.

Each of those types of transactions attracts varies charges across the different networks. The networks have structured their tariffs in such a way that there’s really no big margin in what each of them charges users.

Now lets dive into mobile money rates across mobile network providers in Uganda. Keep in mind though that these charges change over time. These figures are obtained from the respective providers websites at the time of writing this post. 

Mobile money charges send to registered users

MTN mobile money charges slightly more than Airtel money, M-Sente or Orange money when you want to send mobile money to other registered users. Now that’s not a surprise since MTN Uganda has the most number of mobile money subscribers while Orange money which has the least subscribers equally charges the least amount of money. Airtel money and Uganda Telecom’s (UTL) M-Sente offer similar rates.

On a general basis though, the networks punish you for sending small amounts of money. For instance MTN charges Ugx 500 if you sent Ugx 500 which is 100% charge on transaction well as if you you sent Ugx 250,000 they would charge only Ugx 1,400 which is a mere 0.56%. Therefore you are wiser sending larger sums of money at once.

So here’s the list again of mobile money providers in the ascending order of charges

-> Orange money
-> Airtel Money/M-Sente (tie)
-> MTN mobile money

Mobile money charges for sending money to registered users in Uganda
Amount (UGX)MTN Mobile MoneyAirtel MoneyOrange MoneyM-Sente
500 - 2,500500450400450
2,501 - 5,000500450400450
5,001- 15,0001,00010009001,000
15,001 - 30,0001,00010009001,000
30,001 - 45,0001,10010009001,000
45,001 - 60,0001,10010009001,000
60,001 -125,0001,40010009001,000
125,001 - 250,0001,40010001,0001,000
250,001 -500,0001,40010001,0001,000
500,001 - 1,000,0002,2002,3001,0002,300
1,000,000-2,000,0002,2001,0002,300
2,000001-4,000,0002,2002,300

Mobile money charges for sending money to unregistered users and to other networks

Mobile money allows sending money to unregistered mobile phone users or to other networks. Uganda Telecom has no charges in this category or at least the charges aren’t present on their website. Again Orange money comes off as the cheapest option here which leaves the battle to MTN mobile money and Airtel money. MTN mobile money rates for sending to other networks and unregistered users are slightly lower than Airtel money for smaller transactions though they even out as larger amounts of money are exchanged.

That’s not surprising because MTN has the largest number of mobile money subscribers. Therefore it has more in-network transactions than Airtel that has to incur more costs in cross-network transactions.

So here’s the list again of mobile money providers in the ascending order of charges

-> Orange money
-> MTN Money Mobile
-> Airtel money

Mobile money charges for sending money to unregistered users & to other networks in Uganda
Amount (UGX)MTN Mobile MoneyAirtel MoneyOrange Money
500 - 2,5001,0001,000880
2,501 - 5,0001,0002,000880
5,001- 15,0002,0002,2001,900
15,001 - 30,0002,2002,8001,900
30,001 - 60,0002,8002,8002,800
60,001 -125,0004,4004,4004,200
125,001 - 250,0008,4008,4007,700
250,001 - 500,00011,00011,00011,000
500,001 - 1,000,00021,00021,00021,000
1,000,001-2,000,00040,00040,00038,000
2,000,001 - 5,000,00070,50070,500

Mobile money charges for withdrawing money from an agent

Registered mobile money  users pay a charge for withdrawing money from Mobile money agents, which varies depending on the amount they are withdrawing. However, a non registered user does not incur any withdraw charges since these are catered for by the sender.

Orange money again charges the least of all the four providers seconded by Airtel money. Which leaves MTN mobile money and Uganda Telecom’s M-Sente to compete for the third position. Now it’s noting that MTN has far more agents spread across the country than Uganda telecom(UTL) which makes one wonder what edge UTL has over MTN.

Anyway M-Sente charges slightly more than MTN Mobile money for smaller transactions while MTN edges out on UTL as the the transactions become bigger.

So here’s the list again of mobile money providers in the ascending order of charges

-> Orange money
-> Airtel Money
-> MTN mobile money
-> M-Sente

Mobile money charges for withdrawing money from an agent in Uganda
Amount (UGX)MTN Mobile MoneyAirtel MoneyM-SenteOrange Money
500 - 2,500330300345330
2,501 - 5,000440400460330
5,001- 30,000880800920770
30,001 - 60,0001,2101,1001,1501,100
60,001 - 125,0001,9251,7501,8401,800
125,001 - 250,0003,5753,2503,4503,300
250,001 - 500,0005,7755,2505,7505,500
500,001 - 1,000,00010,4509,50010,35010,000
1,000,001 - 2,000,00019,80018,00018,40019,000
2,000,001 - 3,000,00035,20032,00034,500
3,000,001 - 4,000,00033,000
4,000,001 - 5,000,00045,000

Mobile money charges for paying for goods and services

When it comes to paying for paying for goods and services supported on mobile money platforms, M-Sente comes off as the most the most expensive platform for very unclear reasons. MTN Mobile money and Airtel go toe-to-toe on this while Orange money once again comes off with the least charges.

–> Orange money
–> MTN Mobile money/Airtel money(tie)
–> M-Sente

Mobile money charges for paying for goods & services in Uganda
Amount (UGX)MTN Mobile MoneyAirtel MoneyM-SenteOrange Money
500 - 2,500110120180110
2,500 - 5,000140140300150
5,001 - 15,000500500900300
15,001 - 30,0005005001,500450
30,001 - 45,0005005011,500500
45,001 - 60,0005505501,500500
60,0001 - 125,0006606601,500600
125,001 - 250,0009509502,500900
250,001 - 500,0001,2501,2502,5001,250
500,001 - 1,000,0003,2003,2002,5002,500
1,000,001 - 2,000,0005,5005,5002,5003,500
2,000,000 - 5,000,00010,00010,0002,500

Mobile money charges for paying for utility bills

Mobile mobile users can pay for UMEME electricity bills, Water, Multiplex Parking, Pay TV, among other Utilities from their phones.

Mobile money charges for Paying for Utility Bills in Uganda
Amount (UGX)MTN mobile & Airtel MoneyOrange money
500 - 2,500190150
2,501 - 5,000330150
5,001- 30,0001,000400
30,001 - 60,0001,600400
60,001 - 125,0002,000400
125,001 - 250,0002,650400
250,001 - 500,0003,500400
500,001 - 1,000,0003,950400
1,000,001 - 2,000,0005,050800
2,000,001 - 3,000,00010,7001,000
3,000,001 - 4,000,00020,5002,000
4,000,001 - 5,000,00040,000

Mobile money charges for withdrawing money from an ATM

The mobile networks have partnered with traditional banks to allow withdraw of their customers’ funds from their ATM machines. Orange money doesn’t seem to support the service since it’s not included in their tariff guide which leaves with only 3 providers.

Airtel money charges the least rates on withdrawing cash from ATM, the M-Sente and lastly MTN Mobile money in that order. So here’s the list

–> Airtel Money
–> M-Sente
–> MTN Mobile money

Mobile money charges for withdrawing money from ATM in Uganda
Amount (UGX)MTN Mobile MoneyAirtel MoneyM-Sente
5000 500
5,001- 30,00011001,0001,000
30,001 - 60,0001,3201,2001,300
60,001 -125,0002,0351,8502,000
125,001 - 250,0003,7953,4503,500
250,001 -500,0006,3255,7506,000
500,001 - 1,000,00011,38510,35011,000
1,000,001-2,000,00020,000
2,000,001- 4,000,00035,000
4,000,000 and above50,000

Additional information

Mobile money Uganda additional transaction costs and info
MTN Mobile moneyAirtel moneyM-SenteOrange money
RegistrationFreeFreeFree
DepositFreeFreeFree
Balance checkFreeFreeFree
Mini-StatementFree50Free
PIN changeFree50Free
Buying AirtimeFreeFreeFree
Additional info (in Ugx)
Mininum transaction limit500500
Daily maximum transaction limit4,000,0005,000,000
Minimum account balance00
Maximum account balance5,000,0005,000,000

If you have any corrections to the information presented here, please let us know in the comments below

Links 

MTN Uganda mobile money rates
M-Sente rates
Airtel Money rates
Orange money (NOW Africell Money)