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Rwanda: Central bank warns merchants against transferring MoMo Pay fees to clients

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The National Bank of Rwanda (BNR) has warned businesses against transferring the recently reintroduced fees on MoMo Pay transactions to clients.

Mobile Money Rwanda on September 1 reintroduced a charge for merchants, this time a 0.5 per cent commission, on payment received through the popular payment mode.

The telco defended the move arguing that the fee was actually at 1% in the pre-covid-19 period before it was waived as part of efforts to promote uptake of digital payment services to help reduce chances of Covid-19 transition.

Central bank governor John Rwangombwa has now warned traders against transferring the cost to clients noting that the fee is strictly meant to be paid by merchants as they are the ones who benefit from the service.

“(Service) providers need to generate revenue from their products. We understand the rationale for the charge, if the business is to remain sustainable.

“What the government did was to negotiate with service providers. It was previously at 1 per cent, but the government negotiated with the service provider to bring it down to 0.5 per cent,” Rwangombwa said Thursday, September 9.

He was speaking during the presentation of the monetary policy and financial stability statement in Kigali.

Rwangombwa added: “We remind the public that the charge is for the merchant and not for the consumer who is buying goods, the surcharge is prohibited. It is prohibited for the merchant to offload the charge to the client. The charge is meant for the merchant who is using the service to sell goods and services,” he noted.

The governor called on merchants to look at it as a cost for the efficiency and convenience that comes with the service.

“At times people deceive themselves that if they receive money in cash, they can take it to the bank and there is no cost to it. That is more costly,” he said.

Chantal Kagame, the Chief Executive Officer of Mobile Money Rwanda, said that the fees will allow them to further improve and adjust the platform to avail further services and benefits to users such as microloans, insurance, among others.

The charge will also help cover the costs the firm incurs in the process, including the about 0.7 per cent paid to agents, she told The New Times last week.

There are over 50,000 merchants on MoMo Pay across the country.

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