By Spy Uganda
The Bank of Uganda has set UGX 25 million as the amount that telecom operators will have to pay for an annual licence to operate as a payment service provider or payment systems operator. The two services are classified separately, which means that a telecoms firm that wishes to operate both will have to pay a combined sum of UGX 50 million annually.
Telecoms companies already operate as payment service providers and payment systems operators, which means they will be required to have the two licences. The fees are contained in the National Payment Systems Regulations 2021, which effectively split mobile money operations from telecommunication services.
Under the National Payment Systems Act passed in 2020, mobile money has been split as a standalone business that will be regulated by Bank of Uganda. The Act also requires telecoms firms to register new subsidiaries, which has led MTN to place its mobile money business under MTN Mobile Money Uganda, while Airtel Money will trade as Airtel Mobile Commerce Uganda.
The UGX 25 million licence fees, according to the regulations, will apply to companies operating large electronic money issuers whose total trust account value exceeds UGX 200 billion per month, while medium funds transfer systems or providers whose transaction value does not exceed UGX 100 billion per month, will pay UGX 20 million.
Small funds transfer systems or providers with a transaction value up to UGX 1 billion per month will pay UGX 15 million annually. The annual charges, will include an application fee of UGX 3 million for every licence category.