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20-12-2012

Uganda: New Rules for Mobile Money Trade Coming Soon

Godfrey Yiga Masajja, Deputy Director of Commercial Banking at Bank of Uganda Godfrey Yiga Masajja, Deputy Director of Commercial Banking at Bank of Uganda

The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), in partnership with the Bank of Uganda, is in the process of drafting new rules that will oversee the Mobile Money trade in the country.

During the Uganda Mobile Money Agents Association stakeholders meeting held at Serena Hotel on Saturday, Godfrey Yiga Masajja, Deputy Director of Commercial Banking at Bank of Uganda, remarked that the BoU, together with the UCC, is drafting a set of rules including self-regulating mechanisms, quality assurance standards and monitoring systems for mobile money transactions.

Yiga stated that the Ugandan government has also created measures to facilitate the development of the private sector in the country. One of these measures is the Financial Institution act, which relaxes the economy and privatisation policies of the Ministry of ICT.

The significant growth of mobile money services in the region has attracted concerns from international communities, which recommends that East Africa should develop policies to regulate the mobile money trade in the region.

According to the head of Warid Pesa, Brian Kimathi, many new challenges, such as fraud, absence of consumer trust, money mishandling and impersonation of mobile money clients, have affected the mobile money trade, and have significantly costs both telecom providers and consumers.

Kimathi also highlighted the lack of policies in place to regulate the industry. He also urged telecom provides to invest in technology solutions for fraud prevention.

As the holiday season draws on, Susan Kalukusi, assistant police commissioner in-charge of economic crimes, warned customers and mobile money agents to be cautious as more fake money will be circulating.  She recommends that people should properly inspect all notes before sending or receiving money.

Chiumbo McLeod - East Africa Correspondent