Airtel Increases Mobile Money Charges

Airtel Uganda's Simon Akuzibwe demonstrates the various data service options embedded in Switch On.
Airtel Uganda’s Simon Akuzibwe demonstrates the various data service options embedded in Switch On.

Mobile  money Following government’s pronouncement to increase taxes on mobile money transactions during the reading of national budget, Airtel Uganda has joined other players to implement the new tax waves on its customers.

The development was revealed by Aridam Chakrabarty, Airtel’s Managing Director on Thursday at Airtel House in Kampala during a breakfast meeting where the Airtel was unveiling a whole set of new internet products. Aridam further revealed to have received formal communication from URA of the implementation of the new taxes that he states took effective in July but the company can’t immediately change the charges and has instead taken on to pay the 10% tax increase on each transactions for its customers up to August-1st-2014 when the customers will incur the transaction charges.

Chakrabarty went on to state that the new taxes are to affect the common man and will be based explained that, “These new taxes are affecting the common man, because for every transaction made on Airtel money, a 10% tax is to be charged. This means that it is not about the volume of money transacted, but rather how many transactions are to be made by each customer. But this will take effective August-1st-2014 although, at the moment, Airtel is incurring the cost, because we couldn’t change the tariffs suddenly without communicating to our customers.”

Responding to queries on how far the entity has gone with the call by UCC for all Telecom companies on unsolicited messages and promotions, Chakrabarty noted that the other SMS companies had created the mess but have resolved to having each Airtel customer to only receive 3 messages per week.

Dubbed “Switch On”, the new campaign product according to Airtel is aimed at strengthening the company’s market share and position it as the leading Internet service provider in Uganda. The package comes along with products and services like Internet Me2U, MultiSurf and Data Voucher where one can share bulk data with other beloved ones, borrow data and pay later at no cost.

Arindam Chakrabarty addresses journalists during the press launch of Switch On
Arindam Chakrabarty addresses journalists during the press launch of Switch On

“Uganda is one of the top ten countries on the continent when it comes to internet usage and at Airtel, we realize that as these statistics grow, so do the needs of the millions of Uganda internet users. This is why we take pride in anticipating the needs of our customers and then taking necessary steps to meet them” remarked Chakrabarty.

Reporting by Prisca Wanyenya

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