Mobile

An MTN Mobile Money subscriber checks balance on a mobile phone. Rwandans living abroad will be able to send money directly to their relatives' mobile phone following a partnership deal between MTN and Western Union. (Doreen Umutesi)

An MTN Mobile Money subscriber checks balance on a mobile phone. Rwandans living abroad will be able to send money directly to their relatives? mobile phone following a partnership deal between MTN and Western Union. (Doreen Umutesi)

This is an upward adjustment of shs 1.428 trillion, compared to last year?s estimates of shs 15.372 trillion in mobile money transaction value.

The company executive director, Brian Gouldie told the press that the growth was mainly driven by the integration of financial services into the mobile money portfolio.

?We now partner with 12 financial institutions in the country and facilitate deposits and withdrawals of funds for more than 20,000 subscribers, translating into shs 40 million transactions each month. The total value of transactions is now aggregated at shs 1.8 trillion per month, translating into a 21% increase in mobile money transaction volumes,? he said.

According to the Bank of Uganda, the number of people using the various mobile money platforms increased by 52.4 % to 14 million in 2013/14, twice more than the total bank accounts in the country.

The Uganda Communications Commission?s telecom subscribers and penetration data of June 2014, also indicated Uganda boasts of at least 19.5 million mobile phone users, 18 million of which are hooked on the various mobile money platforms

According to Gouldie, MTN alone enjoys a mobile money customer base of more than 8 million; with 3.5 million actively using the application on a daily basis.

?Mobile money has continued to grow and evolve into a mainstream method of payment for goods and services, facilitating seamless banking transactions and tax payments, utility bills , school fees as well as purchasing products online,? he said.

According to Information from the ministry of finance, the volume of money transacted through the mobile money platform rose to over sh24 trillion in 2014, from sh14 trillion in 2013.

?Our aim is to ensure that with time, we have a cashless economy because we have all the ingredients in place in terms of payment of utilities, school fees and online purchases.

?MTN mobile money now facilitates the payment of shs 5.8 billion monthly, constituting approximately 71.42% of the volume collected in the market. It also collects about 2.1 billion in water bills, which is 74.55% of total volumes collected,? Gouldie said.

Forward plan:

According to MTN?s sales and distribution manager, Phrase Lubega, the company has signed a partnership agreement with its sister company in Rwanda, to integrate their mobile money systems in order to allow subscribers to send and receive money between the two countries.

He said once implemented, the service would reduce the cost of transactions and enhance cross-border trade between Uganda and Rwanda.

?There are just a few details remaining before we roll it out soon. We also hope to roll out this service in Tanzania and the entire region,? he said.

By Edward Kayiwa, The New Vision

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