Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) Executive Director, Irene Ssewankambo has cautioned the general public to be careful as they use mobile money services so as to reduce on the cases of money sent to wrong numbers.
This comes days after the presidential Press Secretary Linda Nabusayi opened a social media war on MTN Uganda accusing the telecommunication company of making it almost impossible to reverse money she had sent accidentally to her late brother’s phone
On contacting MTN customer care, she says she was told to get a police letter, LCI letters and a court order giving her powers of administration of her brother’s estates, a thing she felt was unfair and meant to defraud her of her money.
Commenting on the incident where a telecommunication operator has failed to make a swift reverse of the mobile money sent on the wrong number on her social media account, UCC’s Ssewankambo noted that there is a legal procedure for reversing money sent to a wrong number that all telecommunications are supposed to follow.
However, the first responsibility she says, stands with the customer who should ensure that they fill in the right information before confirming a transaction.
“It is therefore important to remind ourselves that the primarily responsibility lies with the user. At the commission, we encourage users to be vigilant about mobile money transaction and to always double-check the information before confirming a transaction,” She stated.
She noted that like it is with the banking sector, industry practice in the telecommunications sector is such that when a subscriber informs an operator of an erroneous transaction, the money can be frozen so long as it has not been withdrawn at the other end to allows for the necessary checks.
“Where mobile money is wrongly routed, a reversal cannot be done without authentication from the receiver because like transactions between bank accounts, mobile money transactions are deemed final, irrevocable and cannot be reversed without the requisite legal document,” she added.
In cases where the user of the receiver number is dead, the UCC boss says, operators are required, upon request by the administrator of the deceased’s, estate to issue a refund of any stored value. The person claiming the refund is required to provide a copy of the court order relating to the estate of the deceased, according to her.
On the issue of unclaimed funds, she noted that Bank of Uganda has put in place procedures and regulations to ensure that that money is not misused.
“If I remember correctly, Bank of Uganda requires that after two years, this money is transferred to BoU. This money can be reunited at any time to its owner, or next of kin through the presentation of letters of administration”.
Mobile Money is regulated by BoU and UCC concurrently where BoU regulates the financial bit of it while UCC regulates the communication part.
Recently media reported that MTN Uganda was stuck with over 74b shillings unclaimed mobile money funds