21 January 2013

Uganda: Mobile Money Agents Fear Losses

Moses Ihoza, the chairman of Uganda Mobile Money Agents Association, an association that houses 12, 000 agents says they are demanding a stable infrastructure network that will support the growth of their business.

Ihoza's demands come at a time when Orange money has just entered the mobile money market leaving no major telecom player outside the business.

The Chairman told The Independent in an interview that when there are network breaks "they are not in business" because they can't pay rent and other fees.

Mobile Money players have in most cases experienced a lot of instabilities in the service and have been slow at responding to the matter.

Ihoza said that having new players joining the mobile money business was good and thought it could come along with competitive price rates to his members and the users. He said that competition would lead to efficiency in the subsector.

The agents are also demanding that they become a signatory to the "pool joint account" opened in the Bank of Uganda. The pool join account is one that is opened by a telecom company in the central bank where all its mobile money cash is kept.

"We can't be safe when we are not a signatory to that account," he said. "We are still pushing for that but it is not easy." Ihoza said. He added that they are demanding authorities to come up with a regulatory framework for the mobile money business.

Adamu Mugume, the executive director for research at Bank of Uganda told The Independent that they are working on the framework with the Uganda Communications Commission and the telecom players.

Mugume however, did not mention the date for effecting the regulation.

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