Leading telecoms operator, MTN-Ghana has justified the one percent charge on its Mobile-Money transfer services.

Some subscribers have raised issues about this, describing it as substantially high. They cite other comparable bank services which are for free or attract fixed charges of lower amounts.

The one percent charge implies a transfer of GH¢1000 would, for instance, attract a fee of 10 cedis.

But MTN’s Head of Mobile Financial Services, Eli Hini explained to Joy Business that it is a standard rate for defraying service costs.

"The one percent is standard industry practice across all the mobile money platforms that we have had the opportunity of interacting with. It sort of meets some industry standard to meet the basic overheads of the service," he explained.

"And these overheads cuts across a number of things. The first and most important is the distribution network of our agents because these agents need to be incentivised to be able to continue the service," he added.

He explained further that even before the one percent is charged to the customer, just by the fact that the customer must put money in their wallet, the agent makes a commission to motivate the agent to keep money in their wallet.

"From that premise, the agent is also expected to earn money any time the transactions are performed. There is also the education part of the service because we put a lot of educational materials together," he said.

Mr Hini said when customers register it is free and there are agents who facilitate this and they have to be paid, "so there is a cost to the network and they are all facilitated from the cost charged.

"Not every transaction on the platform that attracts fees, there are free transactions as well," he said.

There are also suggestions that both the sender and recipient of any mobile cash transaction are each charged one percent, resulting in a double charge of two percent in total.

But MTN Ghana said officially the one percent charge applies only when one transfers cash and not when receiving cash or loading of wallet and that, any agent that goes contrary is only violating the rules.