By Bernard Lugongo
BANK of Tanzania (BoT) said it has been striving to review financial laws to embed new development and dynamics of financial sector, with rapid growth of digital financial services in the country.
Deputy Governor Bernard Kibesse said yesterday, "we can't remain with the same laws." He was speaking in Dar es Salaam during an event to launch the V isa on mobile phones in the country.
Dr Kibesse assured investors of government's efforts to facilitate digital financial services, including improving Information and Communications Technology (ICT) such as building the fibre optic cable.
To make financial services more inclusive, he said, the BoT has been conducting awareness campaign among the community members to spearhead financial service literacy.
He further acknowledged that the digital financial services have been largely contributing to inclusiveness in financial services, with many Tanzanians using their mobile phones to make transactions.
During the launch of the V isa on mobile yesterday, a total of 15 banks have joined the system. These included the CRDB Bank, NMB Bank, National Bank of Commerce (NBC), Azania Bank, TIB Corporate Bank and TPB Bank.
Others are Akiba Commercial Bank, DCB Commercial Bank, Mkombozi Commercial Bank and Mufindi Community Bank. Also on the list are Peoples' Bank of Zanzibar, Uchumi Commercial Bank, Mwalimu Commercial Bank, Maendeleo Bank and Y etu Microfinance Bank.
The launch of the V isa on mobile means consumers will now be able to send money to each other domestically without paying transaction fees. President of the V isa for Sub-Saharan Africa, Ms Aida Diarra, explained the efforts by the central bank to review financial legislations were testimony of its support to financial institutions.
Ms Diarra stated that it was encouraging to note that Tanzanians are already adopting and embracing mobile technology with more than 41 million mobile phone subscriptions and more than 80 per cent of these subscribers going online via mobile phones.
"It's already a wellknown fact that more than 20 million Tanzanians have a mobile money account or subscription. All these are very encouraging signs for V isa," she said.
The shift from cash to digital delivers widespread benefits up and down the value chain.
For customers, mobile money provides a safer, more efficient and convenient payment option than cash, saving travel time and costs and reducing the risk of theft or loss.