Friday, June 13, 2014

14 million Ugandans using money with a transactions value of UGX 19 Trillion (USD7.6BN)

14 million Ugandans used the mobile money platform to trade, to send and receive money in 2013, making it one of the most used medium of transaction in Uganda. According to Bank of Uganda, the value of mobile money transactions jumped by 40% from UGX 11.7tn in 2012 to UGX 18.6tn in 2013, far more than Uganda's resource envelope for this financial year. In 2014/15 financial year, Uganda's economy is expected to run on a Shs 14tn purse. The number of Ugandans using mobile money increased by 52.4 per cent to 14 million, three and a half times more than the total bank accounts in the country. The number of transactions increased by 65 percent from 241.7 million transactions recorded in 2012 to 399.5 million transactions last year. The telecoms and banks have not taken these numbers lightly. The mobile money platform is now being used by different companies as a payment alternative. Air Uganda and Kenya Airways have their air tickets available for customers who can pay through mobile money. Multiplex Uganda allows those who own cars in Kampala to pay for the monthly parking fees through mobile money. You can pay a police fine via mobile money, in addition of course to such things as utility bills, digital tv, and tithe. Power distributor Umeme has advised its companies to use mobile phones to settle power bills. Other institutions, including churches, hospitals, pay TV companies, and kingdoms have mobile money codes for the people that make any contributions. Buganda kingdom used the platform widely during the fundraising for the reconstruction of the Kasubi tombs. Mobile money] is unstoppable because of the ease, convenience, and obviously the low cost associated with mobile money transactions. With the advent of this growth, the Central Bank is now regulating this mini industry to protect users and ensure fair play. This is a good direction but more progressive regulation as suggested in the 2014/15 budget speech is needed to take the country cashless and make this a major medium of transaction.