Tanzania: Savings bankers meet in Dar

Tanzania Postal Bank (TPB) will bring some 25 banks worldwide to the country to discuss ways of increasing financial inclusion in Africa, where Tanzania is lagging behind.

The country’s financial penetration, excluding mobile banking, is still 14 per cent way behind 23 per cent of the recommended rate for Sub-Sahara Africa.

The TBP Chief Executive Officer, Mr Sabasaba Moshingi (pictured), said that the meeting for two days from tomorrow will take stock of the members’ activities mainly on “the next Frontier in Accessing Financial Services’ and related challenges.

“There is an accrual role of digitalisation and other innovative technologies in driving and reshaping the service offer of savings and retail banks in Africa,” Mr Moshingi told reporters.

The Prime Minister, Mr Mizengo Pinda, is expected to open the 21st World Saving Bank Institute (WSBI) for Africa Chapter, which will bring more than 100 participants across the world and hosted by TPB.

The aim of the meeting, where Tanzania has four members - NMB, DCB, Azania Bancorp and TPB - aims to enable banks from member states to discuss important issues and tackle various challenges facing members in Africa.

The CEO said the meeting will be the country’s big opportunity especially at the time banking penetration in terms of savings is still very low. In total - bank accounts and mobile money - have pushed inclusion to 55 per cent.

“In terms of saving, we still consider mobile platform as a cash-in-cash out,” Mr Moshingi said “WSBI concern about savings.”

TPB was the only WSBI member in Tanzania for many years, but in the last three years others have joined the institute after allowing retail bank members from savings only.

WSBI was established in 1925. Postal Bank, on its part has managed to increase the banking penetration after increasing its branches to 51 - of which 29 are full fledged ones and 22 are semis.

“Our agents in banking are over 300 and we envisage they will reach 1000 plus next year,” Mr Moshingi said.

According to TPB, some members have adapted successfully to the changes and provide diversified payments products ranging from mobile payment, biometric smartcards and point of sales terminals.

However, the majority are still facing challenges in becoming central market players in their respective environment.

These challenges include institutional form adapted to the market, profitability or sustainability, high cost of innovation tools and weak capitalisation, high cost of borrowing and lack of adequate human capital.

The last WSBI meeting was held in Cote d’Ivories and in East Africa region Kenya and Uganda institutions will attend. Others are Asia, Europe and America.
Source: Daily News, reported by Abduel Elinaza, from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
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