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Moves to regulate Uganda’s bustling mobile money market

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Transportation depot in Kampala, Uganda. (Image source: Black Sheep Media/
Transportation depot in Kampala, Uganda. (Image source: Black Sheep Media/

In Uganda, mobile money agents have reportedly appealed to telecommunications companies to adhere to guidelines stipulated by the Bank of Uganda (BOU) and thereby not only help prevent unfair practices, but empower new entrants to the market with credible information.

The Mobile Money Guidelines have been in effect since October 1, 2013 and apply to customers, service providers, licensed institutions and mobile money agents.

One example of the need for clarity, raised by local media, is the eradication of exclusivity agreements. These would ordinarily prevent an agent from managing multiple mobile money accounts of different service providers from the same location.

The Observer explains the situation with a quote from Celestino Mindra, Chairman of the Uganda Mobile Money Agents’ Association (UMMAA).

“The telecoms were terrorising us with exclusivity clauses. This was tough on agents with small surviving business entities operating with a small working capital of about Shs 2-3m,” he said.

The publication further adds Mindra’s confirmation that according to the BOU’s guidelines, provision is made for running multiple accounts – something the Association wants telecommunication companies to effectively communicate to those entering the market.

In December 2013, Dr. Louis Kasekende, Bank of Uganda Deputy Governor, said that mobile money transfers in Uganda had hit Ush 1.6 trillion (approximately $640 million) between January and November of that year.

* Image via Shutterstock

Chris Tredger – Online Editor

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