The Bank of Tanzania has earmarked February 2022 to launch its Tanzania Instant Payment System (Tips). This is quite a remarkable achievement for the Bank of Tanzania after successful trials.
Involving banks and mobile operators will see an interoperable system that allows the transfer of payments between different participating digital fintech service providers for banks and non-banks to complete transactions in real-time. This move will change the landscape of the payments industry in the country aid different sectors of the economy that relies upon digital payment. The online betting and gaming sector will significantly benefit from this innovation as this will aid in accelerating mobile online betting. It will provide that convenience for players to fund their betting wallets using multiple payment system methods.
Also, create cost-effectively and capture those with traditional bank accounts to fund their mobile money account, which is probably the most preferred tool to fund online betting account. In addition, it will discourage physical cash as this will help in financial inclusion as more of the citizen will be encouraged to use the platform. The Bank of Tanzania, which started operating the pilot project of the system last June, has confirmed that it’s expecting to roll out the system in February. BoT’s National Payment System director Mr Bernard Dadi said they were supposed to roll out the system last month, but it was postponed to February this year.

“We started with a pilot project in June that took on board three banks and two mobile companies – Airtel and Tigo,” – he said, adding that Vodacom is expected to follow soon.

He said Tips would enable the interoperability of digital financial services amongst payment service providers to make the transaction experience cost-effective and secure. Tips will operate to register users of all-digital payment systems, including mobile money operators (Airtel Money, Tigo, M-Pesa, HaloPesa, Ezy Pesa, and T-Pesa) under a single platform. It will bring that convenience that anyone wishing to send money will only require to search the name of the registered recipient in the system, which will be available through both the USSD Code and an application.
Customers will be able to send money to someone of a different network, one has to go through several steps and further charges as required by each network operator, but with the Tips, all will be under a single platform. Initially, the system was meant to be rolled out in December last year, but the central bank BoT had to upgrade it [the system] by changing its build-up, – said Mr Dadi.
Earlier, Mr Dadi told local media that the first phase would involve person-to-person and person-to-business payments. According to him, after the first phase is followed by the second, there will be the second, third, and fourth phase, including tax payments, bulk payments and the like as per market demands.
Implementation of the system was initially scheduled to start June 2020 but shelved due to the emergence brought by the Covid-19 pandemic. The boT had to dissolve the team implementing the project following the Covid-19 pandemic and recruit a new one. Following the recruitment of the new team, they could no longer launch the system as had earlier been planned in June and instead aimed to establish it at the end of 2020. The preparations for using the system that will operate in card-based payments, mobile banking, e-economy schemes, and internet banking were first put underway in June 2018.

The system will reduce the need to use cash for assorted economic transactions. Tips are expected to increase financial inclusion by improving access and usage of financial services in Tanzania by promoting digital financial services’ interoperability amongst all Payment Service Providers in the country. It is also expected to increase efficiency by moving from bilateral interoperability to multilateral interoperability.