Friday December 1 2017

Mobile Money transactions reach record Shs54 trillion

Business. An agent carries out a transaction

Business. An agent carries out a transaction using a mobile money platform. Bank of Uganda says since transactions are registered, the platform is formal. FILE PHOTO 

By Stephen Otage

Kampala.

Bank of Uganda (BoU) has said with 22 million subscribers currently registered for Mobile Money, the platform has become instrumental in bringing Ugandans into the formal banking sector.
While opening the seventh International leadership conference in Entebbe on Wednesday, BoU Deputy Governor Louis Kasekende said with mobile money transactions now hitting Shs54 trillion, representing half of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
He added that mobile money can no longer be regarded as informal transactions because the users are registered.
“You may want to know that mobile money transactions have now reached Shs54 trillion and this is half of the national GDP meaning that the other half caters for transactions from government and other large transactions which means mobile money is no longer an informal transaction,” he said.
He added: “When my aunties and relatives ask me to send them money in the village and I know that the same applies to many of you here, they give me their numbers which are registered for mobile money,” he said
He added: “What people do not know is that the money they call mobile money is not money on the phone set but money held in a bank account somewhere and it released when you request for it which a formal way of banking.”
Over the years, the Central Bank has been grappling with how to get more Ugandans registered into the formal banking sector.
It has been using banks to try to recruit Ugandans but because of thin presence on the ground due to limited branch networks, they failed to deepen the spread of financial services.
However, mobile money transactions which started less than ten years ago, has managed to register more than half of the population into the platform.
According to BoU statistics, in June 2015 with 18 million subscribers, transactions through mobile money were estimated at Shs24 trillion.
By March 2017, transactions had hit Shs44 trillion and from the deputy governor’s revelations, at the Shs.54 trillion mark, the platform now proves to be the fastest growing money transactions platform.

Economic performance
According to Professor Wasswa Balunywa, the principal Makerere University Business School, the international leadership conference is an annual meeting that brings together academia and policy makers to discuss matters affecting the economy as well as seek solutions to address some of them.
He says they invited Mr Kasekende for the keynote address to shed light on the performance of the economy since he has been instrumental in stabilising it since the 1990s.

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