(Zanzibar, Tanzania) — The people's Bank of Zanzibar Limited (PBZ Ltd) which is one among the oldest commercial banks in Tanzania and the only indigenous bank in Zanzibar wholly owned by the people of Zanzibar has today expanded its online remittance services to Tanzania from abroad by launching a new service for mobile phone subscribers in the country.
According to the People’s Bank of Zanzibar, from January 31st, 2013, when the first remittance worth only TShs 31,252.00 was sent from Toronto, Canada, up to date around one billion Tanzanian Shillings have already been remitted to Tanzania from different Diaspora communities through the People’s Bank of Zanzibar using cash pickup at the counter, bank deposit and airtime top-up services.
The new service enables members of Tanzanian Diasporic communities to transfer money to their loved ones in Tanzania directly to their mobile phones. Thus, anyone with a mobile phone in Tanzania can now receive money securely and promptly from overseas regardless of his/her location in the country. Similar service is already enjoyed by other East African countries.
The service is carried-out in collaboration with a widely renowned and an award-winning London-based financial services institution calledWorld Remit
The People's Bank of Zanzibar couldn't have planned a better timing for the launch of this new service than at the moment when the local Tanzanian mobile networks just signed the 'interoperability agreement' which allows mobile money customers to transfer cash to each other regardless of whether they are using Tigo Pesa, Airtel Money or Ezy Pesa on their mobile handsets.
With such an agreement in place, many families in the Diaspora will now be enticed to send e-money back home to the e-wallet accounts of their relatives even if the relatives live in remote villages. This will definitely promote a nascent ‘cashless’ economy in Tanzania and will help to drive forward e-commerce and socio-economic development in the country.
Visiting any branch of the bank in Tanzania today one would not fail to notice queues of customers beaming with smiles as they happily wait to pick up their cash sent by their relatives and friends from Europe. These queues are now part of the history of the People's Bank of Zanzibar, as no one would from tomorrow go to stand on a queue when he knows quite well that he can receive cash from abroad directly in the palm of his/her hand.
Monthly records of the People's Bank of Zanzibar show that the number of remittances from different Diaspora communities are increasing month after month with Canada leading. Of late, UK which has the largest population of Tanzanians abroad has also caught up with the spirit after lagging behind for sometime and if it continues with the same tempo might soon surpass Canada.
The remittance services provided by the People’s Bank of Zanzibar were originally destined only for the recipients of those cities where the bank had its branches, viz, Pemba, Zanzibar and Dar Es Salaam. But, with the launching of this new service today, a new window has been thrown open for more than 27 million Tanzanians who own mobile phones in the country.
According to the officials of the bank in Zanzibar, the system has begun today to transfer funds to Tigo mobile phone numbers only (Tigo Pesa accounts), while the process of finalizing agreements with the other 3-BIG mobile providers in the country goes on.
Recipients are required to pre-register for mobile money service with their mobile phone providers prior to the usage of the service.
Remittance services through the People’s Bank of Zanzibar from USA to Tanzania are expected to start by the end of the year.
To all those who toiled, moiled and operated as one high performing team for the successful launching of the service today, we say it loud to them - AHSANTENI SANA!
Source: Zanzibar Ni Kwetu