Johannesburg, March 11, 2015
– IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today published a study documenting the establishment of interoperability in the mobile financial services market in Tanzania, an arrangement that increases access to mobile financial services and advances financial inclusion.
The agreement on wallet-to-wallet interoperability reached in Tanzania in September 2014 allows customers belonging to one mobile money scheme to transfer money to a customer with an account at a different mobile money scheme. It rests on a set of rules and standards agreed to by the mobile financial services industry and is the first step towards a fully interoperable market.
Following the agreement, bilateral pricing agreements were signed between Tigo, Airtel and Zantel in accordance with the wallet to wallet interoperable rules. All have implemented and launched, with the Tigo and Airtel wallet to wallet service starting in September 2014 and the Tigo and Zantel service in December 2014. Vodacom concluded its bilateral negotiations with Tigo in February 2015.
Greta Bull, Manager, Financial Institutions Group Advisory Services in Sub-Saharan Africa, said: “By increasing the volume and reducing the cost of transactions, interoperability benefits businesses and consumers and contributes to increased financial inclusion. This case study provides valuable information for the mobile money industry looking to establish interoperability in different markets”.
IFC facilitated the negotiations that led to the agreement and the case study was written by the IFC team that engaged in the process. It documents each step of the process, from preparation and industry alignment to the rules drafting phase, and emphasizes the importance of the industry taking the lead in establishing the rules and standards that govern interoperability.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. Working with private enterprises in about 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise, and influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. In FY14, we provided more than $22 billion in financing to improve lives in developing countries and tackle the most urgent challenges of development. For more information, visit