The recent moves by government to tax mobile money deposits (later withdrawn) and withdrawals have gotten a bad rap from mobile users. It’s so bad Mobile Money usage dropped by more than half a trillion Shillings following the introduction of tax on the transactions according to Bank of Uganda (BoU).
Banks meanwhile are making their silent revenge against the telecoms. They are slowing rolling out agent banking which resembles the mobile money agent network the telecoms have across the country. But more than that, banks are innovating solutions around rapid money transfers that don’t event require the receipient to have a bank account.
First started by Barclays Uganda with its CashSend product, it’s possible to send anyone with a mobile phone money from your account. Stanbic bank Uganda has followed suit with a similar product dubbed “Instant Money“. The product is integrated across Stanbic bank digital platforms that include USSD, Mobile App and Web/Internet banking.
How Instant Money works
On USSD (*290#) Instance, to send Instant Money, Go to Instant money > Purchase Voucher > select account Enter Voucher amount (between Ugx 10,000 to 2M) > purpose of funds > Beneficiary’s PHone number starting with the country code.
You’ll receive a secret 6-digit PIN via SMS that you have to share with your recipient. The recipient will receive a Instant Money Voucher Number. All they have to do to redeem the money is to walk into any Stanbic bank ATM, Select Instant Money, Enter the Voucher Number, then the 6-digit PIN, then their phone number and boom, the ATM will spit out cash equivalent to what you sent them. They don’t need an ATM card or bank account.
Sending charges For Instant Money
You the account holder with Stanbic will be charged a maximum fee of Ugx 3,500 per transaction. Stanbic currently allows a maximum of Ugx 2,000,000 to be sent. The recipient unlike Mobile money isn’t charged anything. All they have to do is withdraw cash from the ATM.
Hi David, we appreciate your inquiry. The charge for sending Instant Money varies based on the amount you are sending with a maximum charge of 3500/=. The recipient will get the full amount as there are no withdraw charges.
Please let us know in case of any further inquires.
— Stanbic Bank Uganda (@stanbicug) August 2, 2018
How does it compare to Mobile Money
Compared to mobile Money, Ugx 3,500 is a small figure. Stone Atwine, CEO and founder of money remittance service Useremit calculated how much it would cost you to send Ugx 1,000,000 on Mobile money. Almost whopping Ugx 50,000 would be gone into charges and taxes!
Me, sending UGX 1,000,000 to my grandma in Ibanda. pic.twitter.com/JIBSrAgOAT
— Stone Atwine 🚀 (@StoneAtwine) July 1, 2018
Banks seem to be having a comeback against the telecoms as leaders of financial services. Recent changes in mobile money transaction charges and taxes could give banks the opportunity they have been waiting to bounce back to the game.