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REGULATIONS for mobile financial services in the country are expected to go into operation in this, the Bank of Tanzania (BOT) governor has said.
Speaking at 16th conference of financial institutions, BOT governor prof benno ndulu said the bank is putting final touches to the regulations, which are meant to create a smooth operational environment for the mobile payment system.
                                                     Headquarter of BOT in Dar es salaam      

The governor noted that mobile telephony and with it mobile money has provided an opportunity to bridge distances cost effectively. “And it is not mobile money alone ,several other innovations have become part of the changing financial landscape in our country,” he added.

     He noted that mobile phone banking cuts across various regulatory domains including banking, telecommunications and payment systems.

     “This calls for need to put in place consolidated framework that allows the regulators to adequately monitor the risk involved in the provision of such services, ” the governor said .

                                                                           Tanzania money    
      He added: “we at the central bank have always remained vigilant in monitoring these technological innovations to ensure that integrity of our financial System is maintained.”
    He however revealed that phone-based financial services present huge opportunity for a coutry like Tanzania,where more than 60 per cent of the adult population has access to mobile phones, but only about 12 percent has bank accounts.

     He noted that agency banking can also provide a huge opportunity to raise the proportion several folds.
     The governor noted that there are several banks which were finalizing arrangements to embark on utilizing the ubiquitous mobile money agents as conduits for opening and operating basic banking services and avoiding sole reliance on the expensive brick and mortar branch network expansion.

      “We’re finalizing guidelines for these innovative operations,” he said, stressing: “Mobile financial services provide micro-financial institutions with a chance to increase their efficiency and reduce cost of doing business.

                                                           Money Transfer by mobile money 
       “So far, mobile money usage is mostly restricted to sending and receiving money and making payments for a variety of services. Only limited amounts of purchases of goods and services are paid for through e-money though.”
        The governor noted that despite the fact that mobile financial payment services have made several strides, more needs to be done utilization of services offered by banks and other financial institutions to the underserved.
      He however asked country’s banking and financial sector to come up with a strategy that will make them reach people at the grassroots level.
    Commenting on the development of the banking sector in Tanzania, Prof Ndulu said by June 2012, there were 1,906 automated teller machines (ATMS) across the country, mostly in urban centers.

      The only challenge we have now is how to reach those in peripherals, who haven’t accessed the banking services,” he noted.
     For her part ,Dr Dorothe singer a financial expert from the world bank, said despite the recent financial sector growth in Africa, there are still millions of people who have no access to banking services, due to a number of factors including bureaucracy.
   She called on banks and financial institutions to work on the challenges facing the sector and ensure that they reach people who are in the peripherals areas. But for me mobile money and mobile banking, hope is solution to the challenges above, if the rules and regulations will be implement serious and be monitored well.

By Mobilekwetu Staff.

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