Telecom companies have unveiled plans to phase out airtime scratch cards as a measure to improve efficiency and customer convenience.
“The scratch cards can be stolen, even for us who are dealers, but if you buy in digital form whether you use it or not, it can still stay safe on your phone. So we are encouraging people to start buying and transacting in mobile money mostly” he said.
Recently, telecom customers raised concern over the extra charge levied by retailers and dealers on airtime. For all networks, customers were being asked to pay between 200 and 500 Shillings more than the price printed on scratch cards.
The retailers blamed telecom companies for the hike. They said that the companies had had drastically reduced the commission percentage on airtime cards, from 5 percent to 2.5 percent making the trade profitless.
Justina Ntabgoba, the MTN corporate affairs said although the overpricing of the scratch cards led to this move, electronic transactions generally are secure.
She said customers who load airtime using MTN Mobile Money or easyload, get an instant 30 percent bonus on the value of the airtime they buy.
Fiona Bugonzi, the public relations officer of Airtel Uganda states that Airtel’s major reasons for discouraging scratch cards were a result of the recent overcharge by retailers.
Andrew Otim, a mobile user said the move to phase out recharge cards is a great one as it will protect many consumers.