How can I reduce cash out fees and avoid agent fraud (Ateso)

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Josephine Annette why do you look upset?

Annette Josephine, one of my clients I clean for paid me in mobile money, and I need to cash out but I do not want to have to pay the cash out fees because it means I lose that money from my hard work.

Josephine Ah, I understand that is frustrating, I had the same issue when some of my buyers started using mobile money to pay me for my produce.

Annette What did you do Josephine? I don't really even know what the fees are for cashing out?

Josephine Ah, well that is the most important part. Transaction fees appear on your phone screen before you complete a transaction. So before you cash out from your mobile money wallet, the amount you will be charged shows up before you confirm the transaction. These fees are all collected through your phone during the transaction, so the agent should not ask you for any additional cash when you are cashing out. Its also a good idea never to leave an agent before you also get an SMS on your phone confirming the transaction.

Annette Yes, ok that is good to know, but it still doesn't help me avoid whatever the fee will be. How do you manage with your payments from buyers?

Josephine Yes, cash out fees are part of using mobile money and it supports the agents who help us cash in or cash out, but it can be painful. One thing I have done to help reduce the cash out fees is to keep the balance on my mobile money wallet and make my purchases using my mobile money.

Annette What do you mean?

Josephine Well, instead of cashing out everything in my mobile money wallet, I use some of it to buy airtime. I also use it to pay for my solar home system that gives us light at night, I use it to send some funds to other members of my family that need it, and I have just started using mobile money to make some of my more regular purchases such as fertilizer for my crops or groceries at shops that accept mobile money.

Annette Ah I see, so when you use your mobile money to make these purchases, does it have a cost?

Josephine Some of them are free, others have a cost, but none of them are as expensive as the cash out fees.

Annette But you can't buy everything with mobile money, it is hard to find merchants that accept it where I live, so I still need cash.

Josephine Yes, I still use cash a lot too, but I still get paid in cash by some of my customers so I use that, or I will simply withdraw a smaller amount of cash from my mobile money wallet, which reduces the fee I pay.

Annette These are great ideas, I need to find a merchant who will let me buy diapers with mobile money! That is all I spend my money on these days anyways!

Josephine Haha, oh Annette, I remember those days! Don't worry, soon you will be able to pay your child's school fees with mobile money like me!

Annette Haha that is true, I suppose I shouldn't be complaining! Thanks for the ideas on how to reduce cash out fees, Josephine!