Monday, June 1, 2015

BOT: Mobile payment services is a boom for banking services

THE Bank of Tanzania (BOT) has said that, the total balance of trust accounts held in commercial banks in the country which backs through mobile payment services has amounted to Sh. 448.3 billion as at the end of January 2015. BOT’s Director of National Payment Systems Bernard Dadi said in Dar es Salaam early this week that, the number of registered active mobile payment services users for M-Pesa, Tigo-Pesa and Airtel money who facilitated such financial transaction reached 14.2 million out of 38.8 million registered accounts. He said in an exclusive interview that, “such meteoric rise has caused a tremendous development impact on the conventional banking services by enhancing their operations”. He pointed out that, such services in the country has also improved liquidity in the banking system as the money which is circulating electronically are backed by funds deposited in trust accounts held by banks. He further noted that, the system platform has enabled some banks to partner with the mobile payment services providers where the banks acts as agents for providing  cash out services. The trend however, enables both banks’ account holders and non account holders to withdraw cash from their mobile phone wallets through bank’s Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) hence increasing bank business and earnings. Elaborating more, he noted that the system platform has also enhanced efficiency in the banking operations as the system also enables linkage between customer bank accounts and mobile phones. According to him, the facility enables bank customers to conveniently transfer money from their bank accounts to their mobile payment services accounts (or vice versa) or make payment to other entities including those which do not have bank accounts. 

Bank of Tanzania twin towers in Dar es Salaam.

Dadi’s clarification clears doubts and speculations among financial stakeholders who had such thinking in mind that, mobile payment services denies opportunities for customers  to open bank accounts as the majority might prefer to rely on this new technology money transfer. Financial statistics shows that, mobile money transfer technology services have been increasing rapidly in Tanzania while benefiting majority of people in rural farmers and urban dwellers. The technology has been rapidly transforming lives of  millions of consumers in Tanzania and other developing countries by providing access to financial services and the ability to pay and be paid electronically sometimes for the first time in their lives. Users of mobile money transfer have praised this technology since it was introduced in the country in early 2010, with M-Pesa money transfer technology conducted by Vodacom being the first to open up the market. Speaking in an exclusive interview mid last week in Dar es Salaam, most of them said that have managed to solve their problems for their relatives who lives in far flung areas who have been immediately receiving money sent to them. John Ouma, a cattle trader at Pugu Auction market on the outskirts of Dar es Salaam city said that he had been walking freely and with safety making his transactions with his customers in Mwanza and in Shinyanga. Another trader, Robbinson Godwin who owns a wholesale shop at Kariakoo in Dar es Salaam says that, he has been paying salaries to his workers through money transfer technology which has enabled him to avoid inconveniences of going to the bank to withdraw larger amount of money. Anthony Sichalwe an architect with the RBS construction company in the city, said during interview that he had ever managed to settle the medical bills for his mother at a Mwanza based Nyamanoro private hospital where she was hospitalized due to abdominal pain she suffered.

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