UNCTAD calls for a "solid" legislation for M-Banking in East Africa
A UN report has urged the member states of the East African Community (EAC) to harmonise their legislation regarding mobile banking in order to stimulate its development.A UN report has urged the member states of the East African Community (EAC) to harmonise their legislation regarding mobile banking in order to stimulate its development.
Created by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the report states that the EAC is the world leader in providing mobile money services, Ecofin news agency reports.
Of 60 M-Banking services in Africa, 16 are in the EAC and three of them have more than one million active subscribers.
According to UNCTAD, this strong growth highlights the need for the establishment of a solid regional legislation: "The steps must be taken to resolve issues concerning consumer protection, the limits of subscriptions and transactions as well as the collaboration and interoperability between different networks. "
The rise of the mobile phone allowed the emergence of mobile banking in Africa. Figures from the African Development Bank show there were less than two million mobile phone users on the continent in 1998. By 2009, this had grown to over 400 million.
The phones are thus increasingly acting as a bank account for all those who have no access to bank branches and microfinance institutions.
AgriLife is one of the most recent M-Banking services in the area. It was launched this year by Mobipay in Kenya and is targeting farmers. It includes microcredit services, insurance and savings, reports Microworld.org.
In Tanzania, the operator Zantel launched EZY PESA, which includes the payment of wages to a mobile bank account and micro-life insurance.