Bank of Uganda has approved an international mobile money operator, which will enable Ugandans to access mobile money services from their relatives abroad.
According to local news agency, URN, TerraPay, a global clearing and settlement service will be allowed to interconnect mobile account holders and mobile telephone operators to facilitate seamless cross-border funds transfer.
TerraPay is registered and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK. It is expected that TerraPay will make it easier for Ugandans in the diaspora to send money to all mobile money services providers in Uganda. TerraPay already operates in Kenya and Tanzania.
A statement from TerraPay, says with the addition of Uganda, it becomes the only licensed mobile payments switch equipped to deliver cross-border payments to mobile wallets in the East African region. It says Ugandans in the UK, Canada, US, Netherlands, Kenya, Tanzania and other countries can send remittances instantly to Airtel Money, MTN mobile money and Smart Pesa mobile money accounts by visiting the nearest TerraPay partner store.
For the first time, friends and family of the migrants can receive small value transfers frequently in their mobile wallets and avoid making several trips to agent stores, to collect money. Remittances have played a crucial role in Uganda’s economy. According to World Bank, the country received a total of USD 1.08 Billion in 2015. Uganda is also one of the fastest growing mobile money markets with more that 21 million mobile money subscribers.