No charges and fees will henceforth be incurred when transferring funds from one’s bank account to their mobile money wallet and vice versa (push and pull charges). The Central Bank has scrapped costs in their latest directive with an aim to promote efficiency as well as protect users. The directive which takes effect immediately prohibits fees and charges on transfers between one’s mobile money wallet and bank account. The transaction termed as ‘push and pull’ had in recent weeks elicited debate as a majority of users lamented that it risked undoing gains made in previous months in cashless payments uptake. In May this year, the Central Bank told The New Times that they had commissioned a study on the pricing of digital financial services. “Charges and fees on transfer of funds between e-money and deposit accounts belonging to the same person are prohibited,” the directive signed by Central Bank Governor John Rwangombwa reads in part. The Central Bank has also scrapped interest on trust accounts held by the telecommunication company which was also cited as a factor driving up charges. During the pull transactions (transfer from account to mobile wallet), banks have been paying interest when funds are moved from the client’s bank accounts to a trust account held by the telco. Banks have been paying interest on the funds held in the trust account at a rate of about 6 per cent. The interest on the trust account has previously been cited by local banks as a pain point and a driver of the cost of the transaction. “Trust accounts and related individual e-money accounts are only used for the purpose of facilitating payment services. As such, interest on trust accounts and interest on individual e-money accounts are prohibited unless the latter is explicitly used as a savings account,” the directive reads. Across the local market, the costs to pull for instance Rwf40,000 from one’s bank account to mobile wallet has been priced at between Rwf200 and Rwf1000. In previous interviews with The New Times, banks had defended the transfer costs citing recouping investment made, costs incurred and convenience fees. Banks had cited some of the costs incurred in the process to include mobile banking system, integration costs, software and its maintenance as well as back-office reconciliation resources. Other costs include SMS notification and USSD session charges. Teclos, on the other hand, had justified the costs of push transactions (Mobile wallet to bank account) citing that they go into costs such as agent fees, back-office reconciliation resources, customers care support centre and other tech resources.