- Published on Monday, 23 July 2012 01:14
- Written by DAILY NEWS Reporter
- Hits: 1047
THE monthly volume of money transacted on by Vodacom Tanzania through its M-Pesa service has reached 1trn/-, the company said in Dar es Salaam over the weekend.
Vodacom Tanzania, which boasts as the largest tele-service provider in the country, describes M-commerce as the fastest growing area of telecoms operations that has become an industry of its own within the industry. Vodacom Managing Director Rene Meza said his firm has grown exponentially in M-commerce, which he termed as an ecosystem, most preferred way of financial transactions.
"It is a growing ecosystem which is now a preferred way of paying bills, salaries, savings, conducting international money transfers through banks and western union. "And very soon, it will be used to withdraw money at the ATMs. It has also enabled the transfer of money from one's account to M-Pesa and vice versa" Mr Meza told the 'Daily News' in an interview.
The MD said although Tanzania has not yet reached the level of its neighbour, Kenya but Dar es Salaam was moving fast.
"We shall beat Kenya within a short time," said Mr Meza, a recent appointee to the top office of Vodacom Tanzania, adding that the idea is to double the number of M-Pesa agents from the current 25,000 in the next six months.
"The good side of this business is that businesses want to be agents, as they have realised that there is the potential of making good returns - this will help to increase numbers of agents without difficulty," he said. Under Voda's M-pesa, there are currently nine million customers out of the country's estimated population of 45 million, indicating high unutilised potential.
"We are however still dealing with challenges of education and trust," said Mr Meza, adding that Vodacom does a lot of educational campaign on M- commerce's services to improve the public understanding and adoption. The firm also is striving to build trust because there are still numerous concern over whether M-Pesa is safe and secure way of sending money.
The bank of Tanzania is currently working on regulations to ensure that e-money issuers and payment service providers conduct their businesses prudently and in accordance with the prerequisites of the relevant legal provisions. Last year, due to increase usage of mobile phone cash transfer, Bank of Tanzania and Tanzania Communication Regulatory Authority (TCRA) partnered to control the system to safeguard users.
Four mobile network operators - Vodacom, Airtel, Tigo and Zantel - are currently offering the mobile payment services. The service provision however requires that the phone companies partner with commercial banks.