BoT to check mobile payments

Following the contribution of the mobile financial services in expanding access to financial services in the country, the central bank has drafted mobile payment regulations to stabilize and enhance security in the sub-sector.

According to the Bank of Tanzania’s monetary policy statement in February, the Bank had drafted Mobile Payments Regulations, which will facilitate the licensing and regulation of the sector, with the aim of ensuring soundness, stability and addressing consumer protection issues.

Since the introduction of the mobile financial services in 2007 in the country there was no particular law to guide and regulate the system of transaction despite its tremendous growth and dynamism.

Absence of the regulations poses possible illicit activities such as money laundering and terrorism financing that might engulf the mushrooming mobile phone-based transactions.

Mobile banking is seen as a compliment to commercial banks by broadening access to financial services in rural areas as well as increasing more money to the formal banking.

Basing on the BoT report, total number of registered customers in the mobile financial services reached 19.4 as at end of November 2011 compared to 14,327 customers registered at the end of June 2008. 

Total value of transactions have increased from 1.42m/- in 2007 to 1.62 trn/- in 2011, with volume increasing from 39,528 to 38,128,821, respectively.

The balance held in the trust accounts to facilitate transactions has also increased from 3.04bn/- in June 2009 to 97.6bn/- at end of 2011.

“It is worth noting that mobile financial services have contributed significantly towards broadening access to financial services in Tanzania given the high level of mobile phone usage,” reads the report in part.

The mobile financial services began in 2007 when E Fulusi (T) Ltd pioneered the industry and it picked pace in 2008 when M Pesa started. Currently, there are four service providers namely Vodacom (M-Pesa), Airtel (Airtel Money), Tigo (Tigo Pesa), and Zantel (Ezy-Pesa).
Source: The Citizen,www.thecitizen.co.tz, reported by Alawi Masare
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