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Tanzanian instant payment system to be launched in February 2022

Tanzanian instant payment system to be launched in February 2022

The Bank of Tanzania (BoT) is now expecting to launch its new payments system, the Tanzania Instant Payment System (TIPS) in February, the Citizen reports. The system was initially intended to roll out in December 2021 but was delayed as upgrades were made.

The BoT began a pilot program for TIPS in June 2021, which they report has been successful. The Citizen was told by BoT’s national payment system director, Bernard Dadi: “We started with a pilot project in June that took on board three banks and two mobile companies - Airtel and Tigo.” Dadi further added that Vodacom are expected to follow soon.

TIPS will operate using a single platform where users are registered. Anyone wishing to send money will search the name of the register recipient on the system and make a payment this way. Becoming registered on the system will be available through USSD code and an application. Mobile money operators, such as Airtel Money, Tigo, M-Pesa, HaloPesa, Ezy Pesa and T-Pesa, will be built into the program.

Dadi told The Citizen of several phases for TIPS. The first of these will involve person-to-person and person-to-business payments. There is a planned build up of phases until the fourth phase, which is expected to include tax payments and bulk payments.

Preparations for the system were first undertaken in June 2018, and it was initially planned to be launched in June 2020 but was shelved as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

BoT also had to dissolve the team that was implementing the project due to Covid-19 and recruit a new one. Following recruitment of the new team, they could no longer launch the system as had earlier been planned in June and instead aimed to launch it at the end of 2020.

BoT has further commented that it has initiated moves to develop a digital currency platform, which will include CBDCs and possibly cryptocurrencies. However, BoT does remain cautious over becoming too involved in digital currencies.

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