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Surcharge discouraging use of electronic transactions: Traders

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Small scale traders want government to reduce taxes levied on electronic transactions, so as to increase their usability at the grassroots.

Speaking to URN on Monday, business owners said that cashless transactions quicken trade and are more desirable for both consumers and traders alike, however, the high taxes involved have unanimously slowed their uptake within communities.

They say that government should conduct nationwide consultations on the viability of cashless transactions and receive diverse community based views on the fairness of taxes, which will enable both clients and business owners to benefit without incurring crippling expenses.

They argue that such studies will encourage the bigger part of the population to embrace electronic payment systems, rather than using cash notes and coins.

Samson Mulondo, a matooke dealer in Jinja Central Market says that most of his clients reside within the Jinja city outskirts and it is more convenient for them to purchase items via mobile money, however, after incurring sending fees, most of them are hesitant to top up withdraw charges, living him in losses.

Mulondo stresses that, such imbalances frustrate the realisation of successful cashless societies and responsible agencies should consider reducing such tariffs, which seem to be hampering the smooth progress of electronic transactions.

Betty Kampi, another Jinja trader says that she deals in charcoal sourced from different parts of the country and electronic transactions are effective in minimizing transport costs incurred in direct interfaces with wholesale dealers and clients alike. However, the heavy taxes involved have frustrated the successful execution of such transactions.

She adds that more sensitization drives on the safety of electronic transactions is required in the grassroot populations, so as to ease the smooth uptake of the modern payment systems for the growth of small businesses.

However, while addressing a town hall meeting in Jinja city, the Bank of Uganda Acting Governor, Michael Atingi-Ego challenged Ugandans to embrace electronic payment systems throughout their transactions, so as to increase business competitiveness within their areas of enterprise specialization.

Ating-Ego stresses that electronic money transactions save users from loss of cash through fraudulent means and that, if small holder business owners can embrace mobile money transactions while conducting transactions within the markets and retail shops, it eases recapitalization of their enterprises through electronically purchasing fresh stock from bigger business operators.

Ating-Ego notes that mobile telecommunication networks have further spiced up the electronic transactions, with inclusion of vintage wallets in collaboration with commercial banks, where interested clients can easily acquire friendly credit facilities to recapitalize their businesses without struggling through the maze of bureaucratic loan security demands.



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