Beneficiaries of the Tanzania Social Action Fund (TASAF) have raised concerns over payment through their mobile phones, saying elderly people in villages were unable to read and understand the cash notification SMS.
During the “TASAF programme” assessment tour here, officers from the development partners funding team led by the World Bank, heard from the enthusiastic beneficiaries in Mfufuni – Bumbwini village complain about the e-payment system.
“We thank you for the programme because many poor families are better-off economically. They can afford meals, supporting children in schools and health services,” Mr. Ibrahim Makame Pandu, a community leader (Sheha) said.
However, he informed the gathering here that some beneficiaries on the ‘Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT)’ payroll were facing challenges in receiving their dues through their mobile phones, instead of physical or hand to hand cash delivery at their respective ward or village offices.
“Cash withdrawal charges, long distance to mobile phone money operators, and difficulties for the elderly or illiterates in reading cash notification SMS are issues that make e-payment technology cumbersome to some beneficiaries,” Mr. Ibrahim Makame Pandu said.
In response to the claims, TASAF’s finance director, Ms. Chiku Thabit, said the government, in collaboration with development partners, had opted to use the mobile payment system because it was convenient, reliable and fast.
” We have an agreement with the system operating mobile companies like Zantel, not to deduct withdrawal charges from TSAF money. Mobile money agents are not allowed to deduct any money from the beneficiaries.” Ms. Thabit said On cash withdrawal charges: