Per paragraph 10(5) of the Bank of Ghana Guidelines for E-Money Issuers in Ghana (2015), operators of mobile money are required to pay not less than 80 per cent of the interest accrued on the pooled money to subscribers.
However, telecommunication giant-MTN is pulling a smart one on Ghanaians, asking its mobile money subscribers via text message to opt out of interest payments–if they wish.
Reasonably, which human being will want to waive his or her right to interest—we mean free money?
But MTN is betting on those who possibly wouldn’t understand their message, to fall victim of what is an obvious attempt to ‘steal’ from its mobile money users.
The network has “since earlier this week, been sending messages its subscribers asking them to dial a shortcode to opt out of receiving interest on their mobile money deposits,” reports 3News.
“Yellow valued customer, if for any reason you do not wish to receive interest on your mobile money wallet, kindly dial *595# and follow the steps. Kindly send through your request by 22nd April, 2017 to be exempted from the next payment…” the message read.
MTN is claiming that the message it sent out to all its Mobile Money Customers to opt out of interest payments if they wish is due to the fact that some customers, Muslims, have complained about receiving interest–as against their religious teachings.
This explanation does still not add up–and these are why;
1. Why didn’t MTN explain that in their messages to their customers? And sent out such a cunning message, which a lot of non-smart customers will follow to waive their interest rights unintendedly?
2. What sort of consultation did MTN do, to reach a decision that because some Muslims have complained about receiving interest, all customers should be sent out such a cunning message, meant to opt them out of the small interest they enjoy?
3. What general customer education or information preceded the sending of the message?
4. Is MTN telling us the Muslims only use MTN money or what? What about the other networks–don’t they have Muslims there? Tigo Money and the rest?
5. Do banks send out this message to their customers? Or Muslims’ don’t operate bank accounts–where interests are paid?
6. Why didn’t they send out a simple message like this; “If you are a Muslim or your faith does not make it possible to receive interest, call this number and we will gladly opt you out?”