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Overcharging of Moncash and Natcash customers: agents justify themselves

  • May 29, 2024
  • 10 Min
  • 17
overcharging-of-moncash-and-natcash-customers:-agents-justify-themselves

The commissions paid on transactions by Digicel and Natcom are unsatisfactory, agents argue to AyiboPost

Agents of the mobile money transfer services MonCash and Natcash reveal that they charge irregular additional fees to customers, justifying this by the unsatisfactory commissions paid on transactions by the companies Digicel and Natcom.

For a withdrawal of 7,500 gourdes, 171 gourdes are taken by Digicel while around 15% of this amount fails the agent, complains a MonCash seller based in Roche-à-Bateau in the South department.

To improve his income, the man forces customers to buy at least 200 gourdes from his hardware store if they want to be entitled to a withdrawal.

“We have almost no significant return on investment,” he laments.

For a withdrawal of 7,500 gourdes, 171 gourdes are taken by Digicel while approximately 15% of this amount reaches the agent.

An agent from Marmelade’s Natcash service says he pockets less than 250 gourdes after a day spent making withdrawals for customers sometimes amounting to 100,000 gourdes.

Customers, according to Roody Legros, an agent of the Natcash service, are free to accept or not the arbitrary fees, since he recalls having to pay a taxi regularly to go to Cap-Haitien and buy with his own funds the Natcash that he must resell.

Different types of agents receive different amounts for transactions.

AyiboPost was unable to obtain the price lists of the two companies.

Read also: DCPJ investigations slowed by the illegal sale of SIM Digicel and Natcom

These irregular fees weigh on the finances of customers, many of whom live in rural areas, sometimes with only one service representative for miles around.

Natcash figures are not public, but MonCash has more than a million users across the country.

Both services provide easy access to banking services in a context where only 19% of Haitians had a bank account in 2014.

Each additional gourde to pay in fees counts in a country where more than half of the inhabitants live below the poverty line.

An agent from Marmelade’s Natcash service says he pockets less than 250 gourdes after a day spent making withdrawals for customers sometimes amounting to 100,000 gourdes.

More than a dozen testimonies collected by AyiboPost suggest that Natcash and MonCash agents charge customers additional fees for withdrawals in provincial towns and even in the metropolitan region, without any real control by the two companies. telecommunications.

Clients like Ricardo Duré are scandalized by the practice.

On September 10, 2023, the man went to the Blockauss market in Bainet, in the southeast of the country, to withdraw 20,000 gourdes from his MonCash account. He was billed more than 1,000 gourdes – instead of 629 gourdes – for the service by the agent responsible for the MonCash withdrawal service.

“I couldn’t believe it,” remembers Duré, who says he obtained – not without insistence – the restitution of the additional costs.

Read also: CONATEL abandons number portability – for the moment

A similar situation is unfolding in Marmelade, according to testimony.

Last February, Alex Exilum wanted to withdraw 5,000 gourdes that a parent had just transferred to his Natcash account. The service agent took 500 gourdes from him as a withdrawal bill, a sum which far exceeds the 97 gourdes required by Natcom.

“This practice has become systematic in the area,” says Exilum. “If you do not accept these withdrawal conditions, we will not make the transaction for you.”

“We have the best commission structure on the market,” retorts an employee within MonCash.

To the agents who express their dissatisfaction with the absence of loans and the low commissions that the service gives them, the employee specifies: “MonCash is not a bank, nor a micro-credit. People must understand that the service will not be able to meet all their needs or cover the payroll of their business. Agents must have another source of income.”

This practice has become systematic in the area. If you do not accept these withdrawal conditions, we will not make the transaction to you.

Alex Exilum

Action may be taken against the offending agents.

“Agents who engage in ‘bad practices’ [de surfacturation] will probably be deleted from the network,” reveals to AyiboPost the MonCash communications department contacted via Harrison Mainsour, one of the managers within the service.

On Friday April 26, 2024, an AyiboPost journalist went to Natcom headquarters in Turgeau, but no manager was on site to answer questions. The communications manager is contacted by telephone. This article will be updated if the company reacts.

It is unclear whether the companies plan to take steps to increase commissions paid to Natcash and MonCash partners.

In the meantime, overcharging is becoming widespread.

In the north, Magdalina was charged 150 gourdes instead of the usual 105 gourdes she charged for a transfer of 3,000 gourdes at the start of the year.

The lady regularly transfers money on behalf of her parents to her younger brother studying in Port-au-Prince.

According to the agent, this deduction is used to pay the employee he hired to provide the service, since his salary is not the responsibility of Digicel.

Read also: SIM cards sold without control on the streets used by criminals

In Lacoma, a municipal section of Jean-Rabel, P. Génélus, a customer of the Natcash service is charged an additional 100 gourdes for every 1,000 gourdes during withdrawals.

Any customer refusing to pay these fees will have to pay 1,000 gourdes as taxi fares to obtain the service in Port-de-Paix.

Par Junior Legrand et Kervens Merisema

Cover image published by AyiboPost illustrating customer dissatisfaction with the MonCash and Natcash mobile money transfer services.


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author avatar
Junior Legrand