Mobile money transactions in Tanzania have hit TSh1.7 trillion (US$654 million) in the last two years, with the number of mobile accounts in the country reaching 20.4 million in September 2012 compared to 15 million in 2010.
Ndulu said that the number of monthly financial transactions, mainly payments and transfers made through mobile money, was TSh1.9 million (US$1,200) in 2010.
“In September 2012, it skyrocketed to TSh48 million (US$30,400), in the same period, the total value of monthly transactions increased from TSh1.8 billion (US$1.1 million) to TSh1.7 trillion (US$1.1 billion),” he said.
Ndulu also revealed that, as at September this year, the value of mobile money transactions was about 14 percent of commercial bank’s total private sector deposits.
“Also impressive has been the increase in the number of users of mobile phone financial services, evidently showing increased access to these services,” he added.
However, according to Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete, there still exists a lot of ignorance among Tanzanians when it comes to the existing services offered by banks, leading to low financial inclusion among the citizens.
Despite the impressive growth witnessed in Tanzania’s mobile money sector, the country has a long way to go if it has to catch up with its next-door neighbour Kenya, which has “more cellphone subscriptions than adult citizens and more than 80 per cent of those with a cell also use mobile money”, as former Safaricom boss Michael Joseph put it.