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Mobile cash transactions ‘hit Sh18tr’

Monday January 25 2021
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By Kelvin Matandiko

Dar es Salaam. Some Sh18 trillion is transacted on mobile money platforms in Tanzania every month, a Cabinet minister said at the weekend.

This is an indication that the country is steadily becoming a cashless or less cash economy.

Speaking during a meeting between Parliament’s Infrastructure Committee and some institutions that fall under his docket, the Minister of Communication and Information Technology, Dr Faustine Ndugulile, said about 300 million transactions worth Sh18 trillion were being made through mobile devices every month.

This earned the government about Sh80 billion in fees and taxes every month, he added.

Apart from the ministry’s management team, the meeting also brought together heads of various institutions, including Tanzania Posts Corporation (TPC), Tanzania Telecommunications Corporation (TTCL), Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA), Universal Communications Service Access Fund (UCSAF), TCRA-Consumer Consultative Council (TCRA-CCC) and Information and Communications Technology Commission (ACTC).

Dr Ndugulile’s remarks mean that there has been a massive increase in mobile money transactions during the past few months as the country increasingly adopts cashless transactions.

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This is because, going by TCRA data, there were a total of 299.26 million mobile money transactions worth Sh11.556 trillion in September 2020.

This implies that the amount transacted through mobile money platforms has gone up by about 56 percent during the past three months.

During the three months between June and September last year, the number of transactions went up by 9.8 percent from 272.339 million in June to 299.26 million in September.

During the same period, the total amount transacted through mobile platforms rose by 8.5 percent from Sh10.65 trillion in June to Sh11.556 trillion in September.

Vodacom’s M-Pesa remains the market leader, accounting for Sh6.539 trillion, which is equivalent to about 57 percent of the total amount transacted on mobile money platforms in September.

Tigo Pesa and Airtel Money were placed second and third, accounting for Sh2.432 trillion and Sh2.127 trillion, respectively, of the money that was transacted on mobile money platforms last September.

With transactions totalling Sh353.527 billion in September, Halotel’s HaloPesa was fourth, while Sh102.295 billion in transactions placed Zantel’s Ezy Pesa fifth.

TTCL had Sh1.29 billion in transactions, placing the state-owned firm sixth.

Speaking at the meeting, Infrastructure Committee chairperson Moshi Kakoso urged the government to strengthen its monitoring and control mechanisms, and plug all loopholes that caused the government to lose revenue it was supposed to get from telecommunication services.

Analysts say the huge sums involved in mobile money transaction was a clear indication that Tanzania’s economy was moving to a cashless or at least less cash economy.

“This shows that we are no longer required to move around with hard cash like we used to. We are at a point whereby you can deposit or withdraw money from your bank account using mobile money platforms wherever you are. You no longer need to visit a bank branch to conduct transactions,” said Prof Haji Semboja, an economics expert.

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