Telecommunication companies in Ghana and their mobile money operators have come to terms to reduce the charges on transactions by 25% following the possible introduction of the eletronic transaction levy, commonly called e-Levy.
The decision by the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications (GTC) and the mobile money operators such as AirtelTigo Mobile Commerce Ltd (AirtelTigo Money) and Mobile Money Limited (MTN) was taken after extensive deliberations with the government on the need to lessen the impact of the new tax on consumers.
According to a press statement issued by GTC, it noted that “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 a downward revision of their P2P (person to person transfer) fees by up to 25% depending on the respective operator. Vodafone currently has no charges.”
The statement indicated that the mobile money operators would notify their customers of the applicable revised rate when the e-levy bill is passed into law.
The Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications (GTC), in the press statement, noted that the companies are ready to provide customers assistance service 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.”
It would be recalled that after the reading of the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of Government by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister for Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, on Thursday revealed that the government has been engaging the telecommunications companies to reduce their charges on electronic transactions.
He stated that this reduction in the mobile money charges would aid the government to maintain the 1.75% levy and reduce the impact of the tax on the ordinary Ghanaian.
The Information Minister noted that the move is to ensure Ghanaians are not burdened with the tax, the government has been exploring ways to reduce the cumulative effect, saying that “the government has been engaging with the Telcos. So if the telcos reduce their 2% and even if the government stays at 1.75% that means the state is assured of the revenues of the 1.75% and the net effect on the Ghanaian will still be low.”
The finance minister reading the 2022 budget in Parliament on Wednesday, November 17, 2021 announced that the government intends to introduce an electronic transaction levy to “widen the tax net and rope in the informal sector”.
The proposed levy, which will come into effect in 2022, is a charge of 1.75% on the value of electronic transactions. It covers mobile money payments, bank transfers, merchant payments, and inward remittances.
However, there is an exemption for transactions up to GH¢100 per day.