Tanzania’s mobile-fueled banking revolution

Benno Ndulu

Bank of Tanzania (BOT) Governor Benno Ndulu participates in the 2013 Global Policy Forum.

Bank of Tanzania (BOT) Governor Benno Ndulu, right, participates in the 2013 Global Policy Forum.

The development of mobile financial services in Tanzania is bringing the high number of unbanked residents into the financial system.

In just four years, mobile financial services have revolutionized the fiscal landscape in Tanzania.

Tanzania identified mobile financial services as being crucial to enhancing access to and usage of financial services among the unbanked population in our national financial inclusion framework, which was launched in 2013. Through the contribution of mobile financial services, the number of financially excluded people in Tanzania has already been more than halved to 27% of adults as of 2013, compared with 55% in 2009, when mobile financial services were introduced to the country. The development of mobile finance has made it possible for millions of Tanzanians to have greater access to financial services, which 55% of adults now use through 12.3 million active mobile accounts in the country (as of July 2014).

In addition to being used for payment and remittance services, mobile financial services have enabled more than 6 million people to store value or save credit in their mobile wallets, thus enhancing the potential to migrate the unbanked to the banking system. Importantly, this service has been adopted across Tanzanian society – rural and urban populations have active usage of about 39% and 51% respectively, while 41% of women and 45% of men are active users.

This article originally appeared at The Banker. To view the full version, please click here (sign in required).

Categories: Digital Financial Services

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