19 December 2012

Uganda: Mobile Money Rules to Be Set

Photo: New Vision
Companies that charge for dropped calls will be fined.

Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) is partnering with Bank of Uganda to set new rules that will govern the Mobile Money trade, the deputy director of commercial banking, Godfrey Yiga Masajja has said.

"We shall develop and operationalise self-regulating mechanisms, quality assurance standards and performance monitoring systems for mobile money transaction in Uganda," Yiga added.

Yiga advised the communication industry players to open subscriber systems, which will be used as a backup for retaining money in case of any shortage.

He made the remarks during Uganda Mobile Money Agents Association stakeholders meeting at Serena Hotel held on Saturday.

Yiga said that the Government has also provided instruments to facilitate the private sector in the development of the economy.

Among them are the Financial Institution Act, a policy on liberalisation of the economy and privatisation and ministry of ICT policies.

The growth of mobile money services in the region has attracted concern from the international community with suggestions for East Africa to draw up rules that govern the trade.

The head of Warid Pesa, Brian Kimathi said the mobile money trade has been affected by many new challenges among them fraud, lack of consumer trust, impersonation of mobile money clients and money mishandling, all of which have caused financial loss to both the clients and telecom companies.

He also said there is a lack of guiding laws and policies from the regulatory authorities in regulating the mobile money industry.

Kimathi, however urged telecom companies to invest in e-fraud technology for phone based financial transactions to maximise the benefits.

In Uganda, services such as MTN Mobile Money, Warid Pesa, Airtel Money, Utl's M-sente have also been affected by communication network mishaps, among them dropped calls and failed text messaging, which affect timely money transfer processes.

The assistant commissioner of police in charge of economic crimes, Susan Kalukusi cautioned mobile money agents and its customers to be aware of fake money during this Christmas season, especially the sh50,000 note.

"There will be fake money in circulation in the holiday period, so scrutinise the notes before receiving or sending money," Kalukusu warned.

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