Mobile Financial Services: The Bank of Tanzania learns from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas

What did the Bank of Tanzania learn from its knowledge exchange with Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas?
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This paper discusses lessons that Bank of Tanzania (BOT) learned from Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas in the Philippines (BSP) about developing a regulatory framework for mobile financial services that would strengthen and institutionalize the role of mobile network operators (MNOs) and guide the implementation and management of new technologies in the financial sector.

BOT believed that mobile phones could bring financial services to the poor and expand outreach to the remotest parts of the country. It looked to BSP to understand how to regulate MNOs. BSP was one of the early movers in issuing regulatory guidelines for the issuance of electronic money. Lessons that BOT learned during the knowledge exchange that occurred in 2010 highlight the importance of:

  • Assessing existing assets;
  • Building a specialized team with the technical capacity to regulate and oversee mobile payments;
  • Regulatory flexibility to adopt new financial services technology and enable mobile payments;
  • Building a conducive environment by permitting the development of the quasi-financial sector;
  • Taking responsibility to supervise agents;
  • Cooperation between financial services regulators and the communications industry regulator;
  • Compliance with international anti-money laundering requirements.

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