The Bank of Tanzania (BOT) has recently released a Financial Stability Report pointing out the country as a leader in terms of mobile money usage.
According to the report, payment systems operated by mobile phone recorded high rates of growth in volume and value, positioning Tanzania at the top in terms of registered users and transactions.
Tanzania’s registered users of mobile payment services increased to 41,380,791 as of December, 2014, from 31,830,289 in December, 2013, marking a growth of 30% and reaching a ratio of 84% of adults using mobile phones for money transactions that surpasses Kenya’s rate at 68% according to the World Bank (WB).
Regarding volume of transactions, they grew from TZS 32,076.2 billion in the year ending in March, 2014, to TZS 41,756.3 billion in the same period in 2015, which yields to an average of TZS 3,480 billion or USD 1.6 billion per month and is only behind Kenya’s average monthly transactions at USD 2.2 billion.
It marked a rapid growth in transactions’ volume of 30.2%, which is above the developing countries’ average growth at 7.88% with Tanzania representing 4.12% of the USD 467 billion transacted to those countries and 3.13% of the total transacted in the world, with India and China topping the list accounting for 10.4% and 10% of the total according to the WB.
According to WB Chief Economist Prof. Kaushik Basu, the usage of underlying technologies as smartphones have changed the course of people’s life and addressed them to support economic growth and human development as seen in the mobile banking achievements in Tanzania, which was the first country to deliver mobile savings, loans and interest bearing products through mobile money accounts to boost agriculture and banking.
Tanzania registered users of mobile banking services currently accounts for approximately 5% of the total registered accounts in the world calculated in 800 million as of 2014 and that is expected to grow to 1,800 million by 2019 according to KPMG.