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Mobile Money Increases Financial Inclusion in Tanzania: Report

A consumer survey on Tanzanian financial needs and preferences revealed that formal financial inclusion in the country has increased considerably over the past six years

Mobile Money Increases Financial Inclusion in Tanzania: Report

The 2023 FinScope Tanzania study, conducted by the Financial Sector Deepening Tanzania (FSDT) organisation, showed that a proliferation of mobile phones and a significant surge in mobile money service usage had contributed to a steady rise in formal financial inclusion in this Eastern African country.

The survey aimed at supporting the development of the local financial sector and access to financial services in Tanzania revealed that formal financial services in the country rose 12% points from 65% in 2017 to 76% in 2023. Simultaneously, informal financial services decreased by 1% point between 2017 and 2023.

While in 2009, 55% of Tanzanian adults were financially excluded, today, the share of unbanked people in Tanzania is only 18.7%. Over 22% of the respondents use proper banking services (compared to 16.7% in 2017). The majority of Tanzanians use other forms of financial services, such as mobile money – 53.5% in 2023 vs. 48.6% in 2017. 

The study also found that mobile money services were the main driver of improved financial access and inclusion in Tanzania, with the strongest uptake of a notable 12% points from 60% in 2017 to 72% in 2023. The rise has been enabled by a surge in the number of mobile phones in the country.

The Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) estimates that mobile money subscriptions are increasing at an annual average rate of 13% nationwide. In March 2023, a total of 44.35 million subscriptions were recorded, while their annual transaction value in 2022 topped US$56 billion.

We have previously reported that Airtel Africa telecom provider and Mastercard launched a new cross-border remittance service, which will enable Airtel subscribers across 14 African countries, including Tanzania, to send and receive money quickly, safely and securely.

Nina Bobro

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Nina is passionate about financial technologies and environmental issues, reporting on the industry news and the most exciting projects that build their offerings around the intersection of fintech and sustainability.