Mobile money transfer, the act of transferring money from one person to another using a mobile phone, has seen an upsurge in Africa. According to Dr. Louis Kasekende, Bank of Uganda Deputy Governor, it is only going to get bigger.
Dr. Kasekende revealed that mobile money transfers in Uganda had hit Ush1.6 trillion ($640m) between January to November this year, according to the latest figures. He added that the number of mobile money subscribers has risen to 12 million, which exceeds that number of account holders at the different banks in the country.
“Commercial banking needs a lot of improvement and awareness creation. As we talk, mobile money transfers have reached Ush1.6trillion and the subscribers are above 12 million customers,” he said.
Dr. Kasekende also explained that mobile money usage has increased as more users get connected to the Net, while traditional banking systems have been lacking somewhat. “The ATM numbers are only 786 and a branch network of about 900 branches”.
He added that Bank of Uganda has also rolled out a number of initiatives to support the banking system.
“At BOU we’re carrying out a number of initiatives like the going live of the East African Cross Border Payment System (EPS) for Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania to ease cross border trade. Burundi and Rwanda will join the system at a later date.”
Charlie Fripp – Consumer Tech editor