Tanzania: New Regulations for mobilemoney services due in June



FEB 20,2013

THE CITIZEN


The mobile financial service regulations aimed at improving the oversight of mobile payments in the country are expected to be released by June 2013, the Bank of Tanzania has said.

The central bank drafted the mobile payment regulations last year to stabilize and enhance security in the sub-sector which has been operating for a long time now without the central bank’s supervision.

The mobile financial services were introduced in 2007 in the country but 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.

However, through its monetary policy statement for this February, the BoT says it is in the final stages of issuing Mobile Financial Services Regulations and they are expected to be out by June this year.

According to the policy statement which is released bi-annually, the outreach of the mobile payment services has grown to a customer base of 20.4 million and the amount of money circulating as electronic money through mobile phones reached Sh157.8 billion at the end of November 2012, a growth of 64 per cent from December 2011.

“The increase in the uptake of mobile financial services has demonstrated great potential for the financial inclusion and economic growth in the country,” reads the monetary policy statement in part.

In 2007, E Fulusi (T) Ltd pioneered the industry by introducing mobile financial services which picked growth pace later 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).

Some commercial banks have linked their services with mobile operators where bank account holders can deposit and withdraw cash using mobile phone.

The service linkage may even increase following the recent introduction of agent banking.

 

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