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Registered mobile money users reach 17 million mark

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Mobile Money users carry out transactions at a kiosk. According to Bank of Uganda, registered subscribers reached 17.6 million as of end of June 2014. FILE PHOTO 

By MARTIN LUTHER OKETCH

Posted  Friday, August 8   2014 at  01:00

In Summary

Commercial banks note that mobile money accounts are growing more than bank accounts

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KAMPALA

Just under six years since its establishment in Uganda, the penetration of mobile payment has grown fast with the number of registered mobile account holders standing at 17.6 million.

The current trend reiterates the continued influence of mobile money transactions in Uganda’s financial services and the country’s economy.

Mobile money transfer services entered the Ugandan non-bank financial market in March 2009 and currently, there are six providers namely; MTN, Airtel, Uganda Telecom, Orange, M-cash and Eeezy Money.

The trend in mobile payment in terms of registered use has surpassed the number of people holding accounts in the financial institutions that are supervised by Bank of Uganda, which includes commercial banks, Credit Institutions (CIs) and Microfinance –Depositing Taking Institutions (MDIs).
As at end June 2014, the combined total number of account holders in these three types of financial institutions supervised by Bank of Uganda (BoU) stood at 5,587,251 out of an estimated population of 35 million people.

In an interview with Daily Monitor on Wednesday, the director Financial Stability Department BoU, Dr Charles Abuka, said as of end of June 2014, the number of registered users reached 17.6 million compared to 12.1 million for the financial year ended June 2013, representing an increase of 46 per cent.
“Mobile Money customers are able to cash in and cash out mobile money from appropriate mobile agents as well as, depending on the Mobile Money Operator (MNO), withdraw mobile money using their mobile phones from partnering ATM machines,” he said. He added that the growth of the Mobile oney industry has been robust.

“Over the period from end of June 2013 to the end of June 2014, there were 445.7 million transactions valued at Shs22.2 trillion,” he said.

moketch@ug.nationmedia.com