12 February 2018

Tanzania: Govt Ponders Harmonisation of Mobile Money Transactions

The government now wants all telecommunication companies to register their mobile money transactions with the National Switch as it seeks to rollout interoperability across all operators.

This comes amid reports that some of the telecommunication companies have been reluctant to connect TTCL Pesa and HaloPesa onto an interoperability platform through bilateral arrangement.

In a move that promotes financial inclusion, Vodacom, Tigo, Airtel and Zantel reached an interoperability agreement in September 2014 to allow their customers to interact with each other.

Through the interoperability agreement, customers can make payments from the mobile money account of one provider to the mobile money account of another provider.

An assistant manager in the directorate of national payment system at the Bank of Tanzania (BoT), Mr George Sije, told journalists in Mtwara at the weekend that telecommunication operators have been given until February 28, this year, to connect to the National Switch.

"While the companies are currently connecting through a bilateral arrangement, we are also looking at an option of the National Switch," he said.

He said the National Switch system was considered 10 years ago, but market conditions were not conducive then.

The government, he said, was engaging all stakeholders.

The National Switch, he said, entails a central infrastructure of all payment systems for service providers that will reduce costs. It will also make the service accessible to all Tanzanians.

"So far, all stakeholders have accepted and they are currently working on a modality of how to work it out," he said

The central infrastructure will diversify the number to send mobile money to and strengthen consumer protection framework that will solve all challenges.

It also increases transaction volumes, lowers transaction cost and contribute to economic growth.

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