The popularity of mobile money services in the African nation of Tanzania exploded between 2010 and 2012, according to figures from the Bank of Tanzania published in East Africa Business Week. The bank reports that monthly transactions have increased from 1.9 million in 2010 to 48 million in September this year, in turn driving the total value of mobile transactions up to TZS1.7 trillion (USD668.3 million) from TZS1.8 billion. The banks’ governor Benno Ndulu told delegates at the opening of a financial institutions’ conference in Arusha that millions of Tanzanians without bank accounts are benefiting from mobile money services to make payments, send remittances and store funds for short periods conveniently and at low cost.
Last month TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate reported that Vodacom Tanzania has signed up 4.4 million users to its mobile money service M-PESA, representing around 48% of its total subscriber base in the country. The service, which allows users with a recognised ID card to deposit, withdraw, and transfer money easily through a mobile device, is seeing sustained, strong growth. In February this year Vodacom confirmed that the number of M-PESA users stood at 2.7 million users – or 23.4% of the base. The cellco’s CEO Rene Meza says: ‘about TZS35 billion is transacted daily through M-PESA and attributed this to the fact that the service is safe and reliable and is available throughout the country.’