Banks waive digital transaction charges as coronavirus bites

Precaution: A man wearing gloves hands money to a colleague. It is advisable to use disposable gloves when handling paper money to limit the spread of Covid-19. PHOTO BY RACHEL MABALA To continue serving customers who move money between their mobile wallets and bank accounts, commercial banks have reduced their online transaction costs.
According to research, paper money is one of the means through which the Coronavirus (Covid-19) spreads. This explains why the World Health Organisation and government have cautioned people to minimise cash transactions and opt for digital channels for their daily payments and banking transactions.

Commercial banks in Uganda have waived charges on their digital and online transactions for 30 days effective March 25.

In an interview with Daily Monitor, yesterday, Mr Wilbrod Owor, executive director, Uganda Bankers Association said: “The decision to reduce bank charges was made at an industry level that all members who have their mobile wallets linked to their bank accounts to reduce charges.”

Yesterday, the Ministry of Health has confirmed five new cases of Covid-19, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 14.

Bank of Uganda’s statement last week on limiting the impact of the COVID-19 on the stability and economic growth urged commercial banks to revise their charges accordingly.

Mutebile challenged commercial banks to further reduce fees on mobile money transactions and other digital payment charges to limit the use of cash and bank branch visits.

“Increase daily transaction and wallet size limits for mobile money transactions,” Mutebile said in his seven-point statement.

Reduced charges
Responding to the central bank’s plea, customers of dfcu and Absa banks – who will withdrawal up to Shs50,000 per day from the respective Auto Teller Machines (ATMs) spread across the country will not be charged a penny.

These banks have waived all bank account to mobile wallets transaction charges.
Dfcu customers will enjoy free cash withdrawals of up to Shs50,000. Customers will get free dfcu to dfcu transfers, utility and statutory payments, airtime and data top-ups.
Meanwhile, Absa customers will enjoy free online banking and mobile banking transactions for up to Shs30,000 per day.Mathius Katamba, the chief executive officer dfcu Bank said: “We want to support our customers so that they can access our services conveniently since many are working from home.”

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