Airtel Zambia has, this year, 2019, hiked some Airtel Money transaction fees for high band withdrawal, off-net transfers, and wallet-to-bank transfers, respectively. The change in transaction fees has been in effect since 12th August. Reasons for the change in fees will probably be available in a million years.
The change in fees mainly affects the withdrawal of high amounts starting from K3,001 to K5,000; K5,001 to K10,000. The old K30 withdraw charge for the K3,001 to K5,000 band has increased to K50 – the increase is a notable 67%. The past withdraw fee of K30 for the K5,001 to K10,00 band has adjusted upwards to K100, this brings the jump to 233%.
The table below shows the new Airtel Money Zambia withdraw transaction fees
All wallet-to-bank tariffs have been affected, with lower bands getting a reduction of K1 – translating to 17% – while some higher bands have gone up from K6 to K100 – converting to 1,666% – respectively.
The table below shows the new Airtel Money Zambia wallet-to-bank transaction charges.
The increase in Airtel Money transaction fees has received a backlash from customers in the Facebook online community.
With this in mind, Airtel Zambia released an unpleasant surprise surrounding Airtel Money before the transaction fee hikes – bonuses on top-ups via Airtel Money have discontinued. Yet, MTN Zambia is still giving bonuses on top-ups via MTN mobile money, its mobile money service, which is a leading competitor with over 2 million subscribers. It’s not clear if Airtel will restore the perks. The move to hike transaction fees is a bold one.
On the other hand, in what can be deemed as good news, Airtel is giving away free 5GB data and 60 on-net calling minutes.
In short, no one knows why Airtel Zambia has increased the Airtel Money charges. Could the reasons for the hike in transaction fees be the current low performance of the Kwacha or the fact that Airtel Money was the first mobile money service in Zambia?