EXPORTERS and importers in Tanzania and other landlocked countries using the Dar es Salaam Port can now make payments for their shipments through the network of Ecobank branches, thanks to signing of an agreement between the financial institution and Tanzania International Container Terminal Services (TICTS).
“The agreement seeks to create convenient, flexible and speedy payment system for customers using the port. Once a customer makes payment it will be reflected at TICTS on real-time,” Ecobank Tanzania’s Managing Director, Mr Raphael Benedict said.
Through the arrangement, customers in as far as Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi and Zambia, can make payments through Ecobank branches in those countries and thus reduce transaction costs.
“The bank is also working on digitisation strategy to create advanced digitised solutions that will enable 24 hour payments for customers of TICTS and this will be extended across the region,” he explained. Ecobank’s Group Head for Cash Management and Client Access, Mr Isaac Kamuta, said the deal will facilitate trans-boarder trade and transactions in the region.
“Being able to make transactions in a seamless method is the way to go and this will play a crucial role in fostering trade,” Mr Kamuta, who is based in Accra, Ghana, remarked. The Secretary General of Tanzania Freight Forwarders Association, Mr Tony Swai, said the deal will go a long way in improving efficiency at the port and cut-down costs which were hitherto incurred by traders.
“Making transactions through wire transfers is costly and take time; this resulted into added costs for storage of consignments at the port,” Mr Swai stated. He was equally upbeat that the arrangement will increase the market share of Dar es Salaam Port against its competitors in the region.
“As freight forwarders handling logistics, we are happy to see this partnership because we have been facing a lot of financial payment obstacles in the past,” Mr Swai noted. At the occasion, the Managing Director of TICTS, Mr Jared Zerbe, described the new arrangement as a game changer in the industry.
“The partnership will enable TICTS to improve its daily operations and concentrate on increasing the market share of the Dar es Salaam Port,” Mr Zerbe explained. He pointed to the fact that online payment through the bank is a suitable solution to improve efficiency and reduce transaction costs.