SADC Mobile Money Guidelines

The FIP (Protocol on Finance and Investment) in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region remains the key instrument to facilitate regional financial integration and aims at making the SADC region an attractive destination for foreign direct investment and regional investment. Annex 6 of the FIP particularly focusses on cooperation and coordination among Central Banks on payment, clearing and settlement systems with the aim of converging these payment systems. A review was commissioned by the legal and payments sub committees of the Committee of Central Bank Governors in SADC (CCBG) in 2013/14 to assess the laws, regulations, directives, circulars guidelines and guidance notes directly applicable to the National Payment System in each of the 15 SADC countries. Furthermore, the review highlighted that the statutory instruments regulating Mobile Money in the various SADC countries was significantly different with respect, inter- alia, to: the understanding and definition of Mobile Money; whether Mobile Money constitutes deposit taking or not; conditions for authorisation; initial capital, own funds and safeguarding requirements etc.

Recommendations from the review, and adopted by the CCBG legal and payments sub-committees, were that in order to assist Central Banks in the SADC to adopt a consolidated approach to Mobile Money that an in-depth study on the concept of Mobile Money in SADC should be undertaken, which should culminate in the drafting of the Mobile Money Guideline for the SADC region.