Bank of Tanzania mulls review of financial laws

Thursday March 14 2019



Bank of Tanzania headquarters. PHOTO | FILE

Bank of Tanzania headquarters. PHOTO | FILE 

By Rosemary Mirondo @mwaikama rmirondo@tz.nationmedia.com

Dar es Salaam. The Bank of Tanzania (BoT) is working to have financial laws reviewed to accommodate new developments and dynamics of the financial sector, with rapid growth of digital financial services in the country.

Deputy governor Bernard Kibesse said this yesterday when launching the Visa on Mobile in the country, assuring the government’s efforts to facilitate digital financial services, including improving Information and Communications Technology (ICT) such as building the fibre optic cable network. Visa on Mobile which is provided by Visa in partnership with 15 commercial banks allows consumers in Tanzania to send money to each other domestically without paying transaction fees.

“With rapid strides made in technology, we can’t remain with the same laws,” he stressed.

He said that in order to make financial services more inclusive, BoT has been conducting awareness campaigns among community members to spearhead financial services literacy.

He further acknowledged that digital financial services have been largely contributing to inclusiveness in financial services, with many Tanzanians using their mobile phones to make transactions.

President of the Visa for Sub-Saharan Africa, Ms Aida Diarra, said the move aims to accelerate the adoption of digital payments.

“To use the services, a bank customer needs to download their banks mobile app, look for Visa on the application and pay for goods and services either by scanning the QR code or by using a Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) code at a merchant location, and the service is free,” she said.

Ms Diarra stated that it was encouraging to note that Tanzanians are already adopting and embracing mobile technology with more than 41 million mobile phone subscriptions and more than 80 per cent of these subscribers going online via mobile phones.

“It’s already a well-known fact that more than 20 million Tanzanians have a mobile money account or subscription. All these are very encouraging signs for Visa,” she said.

The shift from cash to digital delivers widespread benefits up and down the value chain. For customers, mobile money provides a safer, more efficient and convenient payment option than cash, saving travel time and costs and reducing the risk of theft or loss.

The 15 banks which joined Visa on mobile yesterday include CRDB Bank, NMB Bank, National Bank of Commerce (NBC), Azania Bank Limited, TIB Corporate Bank Ltd, TPB Bank, Akiba Commercial Bank Ltd, DCB Commercial Bank, Mkombozi Commercial Bank and Mufindi Community Bank. Others are the Peoples’ Bank of Zanzibar Ltd, Uchumi Commercial Bank, Mwalimu Commercial Bank, Maendeleo Bank and Yetu Microfinance Bank.

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