The mobile money service became popular in Uganda because of its convenience and stability since it was introduced in 2009. Everyday, hundreds of thousands of people use the platform to exchange money, buy commodities and paying for their utility bills. According to telecom service providers UGX 26 billion in transactions went through the mobile money platform in the last quarter. But claims have risen on what happens when a mobile money user passes on or loses their phone.
There is also the question of what happens to the money that has been unclaimed for years that is lying on the telecom platforms. Who owns that money? If it is not claimed does it imply that the telecom company takes it? The MPs on the ICT committee expressed their concern on this issue, as some cited that most of their people are asked to have letters of administration and are also further required to go an extra mile and get a court order in order to retrieve that money.
In Kenya where mobile money originated under Safaricom’s M-PESA, any money left on the users account for two years is transferred to a trust fund run by government. MPs on the ICT committee are proposing for such a law in Uganda to help clear the grey ares in the law regulating mobile money.
The Executive Director Supervision, BOU Justine Bagyenda said
As you know all these ideas have been discussed in the committee we need to seat together and see how they can best work.
Parliament has also asked the telecom sector regulator Uganda communications commission UCC, to have in place monitoring equipment help in checking mobile money dormant and active accounts.