Enabling Mobile Money Policies in Tanzania
Tanzania has witnessed unprecedented uptake of mobile financial services (MFS) in the span of five years. After a humble beginning, when less than 1% of the adult population had access to mobile financial services in 2008, 90% had access by September 2013 – an exponential increase. Likewise, active usage has shown similar improvement, with 43% of the adult population actively using this service in September 2013. These encouraging results have emerged from a conducive regulatory environment, which we envisioned in the early days of mobile money services. Our approach was to test the deployment of the service and monitor its developments, known as the “test and learn” approach. To facilitate this, we amended the Bank of Tanzania Act in 2006 to give the Central Bank powers to oversee and regulate non-bank entities in offering payment services. In 2007 we
operationalized this by issuing Guidelines for Electronic Payment Schemes, which we used to allow Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) to offer payment services.