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BoT mandated to address money transaction charges

BANK of Tanzania (BoT) yesterday said it is working on the digital money transaction charges complaints, because it is mandated to regulate the service providers.

Also, the central bank said the digital money transaction consumers are wrongly sending complaints to Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) and instead should be channelled to them.

The BoT Directorate of National Payment System, Oversight and Policy Department, Assistant Manager, Albert Cesari, said the law empowers them to regulate the service providers, because they were licensed by the central bank.

“We are working on the issue to establish the actual costs before proposing best charges and practices,” Mr Cesari said during the Economic and Business Reporters’ seminar here.

He said TCRA is only dealing with telecommunication charges and other issues, but the central bank is responsible when it comes to money transactions issues conducted by the telcos.

“A large number of the people do not know this. This is central bank responsibility,” the assistant manager said.

The Financial Consumer Protective Regulation 2019, failed short on putting benchmark for checking charges and fees for digital money.

Due to this the central bank has embarked on researching the actual running costs to determine proper charges. The bank said it was not proper to start putting ceiling and floor charges before the sector took off.

Also, he said should a consumer send money via mobile phones and failed to reach a receiver, that complain should be directed to BoT through a simple letter.

“Unfortunately, those complain are directed to TCRA...it’s not proper. They should come to us. However, TCRA are normally channel to us” he said.

Under the current regulations, Payment System Providers (PSP) and Electronic Money Issuance (EMI) are not allowed to change charges and fees before notifying the Regulator.

“The policy should be notified 30 days before the commencement of the new charges,” Cesari said.

Under the law one has to be licensed as PSP before applying for Electronic Money Issuance. For instance banks are PSP but not EMI.

The EMI are all mobile money service providers, MPesa, TigoPesa, Airtel Money, T-Pesa, Halo Money, EzyPesa and one none mobile phone firm, AzamPesa through Sarafu platform.

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Author: ABDUEL ELINAZA in Mtwara

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