Three-quarters of the money in circulation in Tanzania is in the informal economy. "For every Sh100 out there, only about Sh25 is in the formal economy, the rest is buried somewhere in the informal economy," Lawrence Mafuru, the chairman of the Tanzania Bankers Association, told The Citizen newspaper.
Tanzania's formal banking and financial system holds about Sh13 trillion, the paper reports, with approximately Sh2.3 trillion in circulation at any given time. But Mafuru suggested that mobile banking was bringing lots of money from the informal economy in from the cold. “At any given moment of the day about Sh1.5 trillion is transacted in the mobile banking systems,” he said. With only 3 million of the country's 20 million mobile users signed up for mobile banking, informal merchants are likely to find a big upside in joining the bitmap banking revolution.