E-Levy: Telcos step in to cushion customers

BY: Isaac Yeboah

Telecommunications companies MTN and AirtelTigo, who both offer mobile money services, have agreed to reduce their person-to-person mobile money transfer charges by up to 25%.

The objective, according to the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications (GTC), is to reduce the overall impact of government’s proposed Electronic Transactions Tax, commonly called E-Levy, on consumers should it come into force.

Vodafone, the other telecommunications operator offering mobile money services, currently has no charges.

Government has proposed 1.75% tax on all mobile money transfers exceeding GH¢100 per day, however, it has met with fierce criticism and in some cases, outright rejection and is currently in parliament straightening the path to implementation.

A statement issued by the Telecoms Chamber Friday evening (December 17, 2021) said together with the mobile money operators - Airtel Mobile Commerce Ltd (AirtelTigo Money), Mobile Money Limited (MTN MoMo), Vodafone Ghana Mobile Financial Services Limited (Vodafone Cash), have followed keenly the national discussions on the e-levy policy.

“We have also engaged with various stakeholders on the issue. We have had extensive deliberation with government on the need to lessen the impact on our consumers. We acknowledge the need to expand the tax base. However, to reduce the overall impact of the new levy on consumers, MTN and AirtelTigo have agreed to downward revision of their P2P (person to person transfer) fees by up to 25% depending on respective operator. Vodafone currently has no charges.

“Each operator would notify their customers of the applicable revised rate when the e-levy bill is passed into law. Our customer service centers would be ready to provide to customers assistance during the implementation of the e-levy.

“We pledge our continued support to our customers and would continue to deliver innovative products and service that would ensure the convenience of the digital financial platforms and support the national digital transformation effort”, the statement assured.