By Motšelisi Sekonyela
One of Lesotho’s leading telecommunication companies, Vodacom Lesotho on February 20 started paying out interests to qualifying users of the company’s mobile banking service, M-pesa. This comes as a regulation by the Payment Systems Regulations of 2017.
Mpesa commercial manager, Thato Mathole said a total of 775 000 M-Pesa users will share a sum of M6 799 00 as interest payout accumulated over a year period from January to December 2022.
Payouts will start from M0.01 to M500, depending on each customers’ usage of the service. Those that transact more, get a larger share.
The initial interest payout was in in 2022 where M-Pesa paid interests that were accumulated over a period of five years. A sum of M22 m was paid out to clients in interest.
One of VLC users and a recipient of the payout, Pulane Makhapa, said that she was expecting a larger sum than what she has received this year. “I use Mpesa every single day. My business revolves around the service because I give my clients money through the Mpesa service and they pay me using Mpesa. So I had hoped that this year’s payout would be similar to last year’s,” Makhapha said.
Eligible recipients include those who send money to other people or mobile operators, as well as those who buy goods through merchant payments, buy airtime and bundles, and those who use M-Pesa to pay utility bills.
The method which will be used to allocate the interest payment to the customers was approved by the Central Bank of Lesotho. The interest payment will be calculated on the total value of the transactions from qualifying activities. There will be a calculation of the activity at customer level, which will be their contribution to the total value.
The customer’s contribution will be divided by the total value transacted and the derived percentage determines the share of the customer. The total interest earned on the account balances is multiplied by the calculated percentage to determine the share of the customer.
On whether customers can expect this to be an annual activity, Mathule said she is not in a position to say, but timely updates will always be made to customers as in the past.