Payment services
FinTechs belonging to this category offer alternative payment services which are supposed to provide a faster and cheaper way for national, European, and international payments for private and business customers by using new technologies.

For example, payment service providers hereby offer solutions to easily integrate several payment services in online shops.

Some FinTechs furthermore provide real cash register systems and online-reservation solutions for restaurants and shops providing their own payment services or making use of the payment services of FinTechs described above.


Attitude of the country towards modern payment services

The standard payment methods in most transactions are still mainly cash dominated. However, contactless payments have become popular recently. Both financial institutions and non-financial institutions can provide payment services. According to the latest telecoms statistics for Q2 2020 published by the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (“TCRA”), overall mobile money subscriptions (mobile money accounts) in the country reached 29,659,961 in June 2020, versus 27,127,298 in March 2020. In June 2020, 272,339,270 mobile money transactions took place, for a total value of TZS 10,651,723,214,486 (approx. USD 4.6 billion).

Legal affairs

Obligations and requirements to provide payment services or ancillary services described above

In Tanzania, payment services are regulated by the government via the central bank which 
introduced a Directorate of National Payment Systems in the year 2000 which is entrusted with the coordination of activities related to the modernization of payment systems. Following these developments, the Bank of Tanzania Act of 2006 was enacted to enable the Bank to regulate, monitor, and supervise the payment, clearing and settlement system in the country. 

According to the guidelines provided by the regulator, a licence is required to offer payment services. The licenses are categorized based on the service provided such as Inter – Institutional payment, Intra – Institutions Payment or Payment System Data Management and Remittance. The fees for the licenses vary from one million Tanzania Shillings (approx. USD 430) up to five million Tanzania shillings (approx. USD 2,140) depending on the type of license. A licensee shall be limited to provide services only for the category of the license applied for.

In order to get a license, one has to apply through a prescribed form and accompanying documents as prescribed by the law including business module, process flow and system architecture, proof of payment of application fee as well as proof of minimum capital and any other information that the Bank may require. There is a minimum capital requirement of TZS 500 million (approx. USD 214,000) only for applicants for Electronic Money Issuance License.

Additional comments regarding the legal situation for payment services or what FinTech’s must be aware of in this business area

The central Bank conducts an oversight function on the payment systems in the country to enhance safety and efficiency in the national payment clearing and settlement systems to mitigate risks in their design and operations.

Economic conditions

Market size for payment services and biggest payment service providers

The Tanzania’s market payment functions mainly through Mobile Network Operators. 

According to the latest telecoms statistics for Q2 2020, overall mobile money subscriptions (mobile money accounts) in the country reached 29,659,961 in June 2020. The mobile money penetration has thus reached 53% of the population with a transaction value of USD 81 billion. There are 272,339,270 mobile money transactions in place with a total value of USD 4.6 billion



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