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NPS -Frequetly Asked Questions

What is a National Payment System (NPS)?
Who are the major NPS Stakeholders in Tanzania?
What is a National Payment System (NPS) Vision?
What are the Common Payment Instruments in Tanzania?
What is the role of BOT in the Payment System?

1. What is National Payment System (NPS)?

National Payment System is defined as a group of institutions and a set of instruments and procedures, used to ensure the circulation of money within a country. The NPS supports the full spectrum of financial activity, from Tanzanian businesses transacting globally in the international markets to servicing the individual payment requirements of the Tanzanian populace.

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2. Who are the major NPS Stakeholders in Tanzania?

Stakeholders are those that have an interest in the NPS. This definition includes those that own, provide, manage or use components of the system, or take ultimate responsibility thereof. The major stakeholders are: -
  • Bank of Tanzania; as the monetary authority in Tanzania, fulfils a pivotal role in the economy and, specifically, in the NPS.
  • Financial Institutions: Cormecial banks and registered financial institutions under the BOT act
Other stakeholders included in the payment system are:
  • Infrastructure Providers e.g. Telecommunication companies.
  • Payment service providers e.g. Swift, Card Operators.
  • Payment System End-Users: e.g. Individuals, corporate businesses and government.
  • Regulatory authorities e.g. Dar es salaam Stock Exchange (DSE), Capital Markets Authority Government.
  • Regional Monetary Authorities and Regional Arrangements e.g. the East Africa Community.
  • International Monetary Authorities .;These bodies include IMF, World Bank.

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3. What is the National Payments System (NPS) Vision?

The NPS vision is to put in place a modern payment system that is effective, efficient, secure and compatible with internationally recognized payment systems.

The NPS mission is to have a payment system characterised by the following features:-

  • Risks related to Payment Systems will be well understood and managed by all stakeholders.
  • The Payment System shall be self-regulated.
  • Settlement of all domestic inter-bank exchanges on the value date of the settlement instruction.
  • Open for all parties, both domestic and foreign who wish to provide payment services.
  • Easily accessible to both urban and rural consumers to effect both domestic and international transactions.
  • Efficiency and lack of duplications as shared payment infrastructure will be encouraged.
  • Basic NPS features well understood by all including the rural populace.
  • The Payment System will support electronic trading in both the securities and foreign exchange markets.
  • The Payment System will be compliant with international standards, practices and compatible with other international payment systems.
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4. What are the Common Payment Instruments in Tanzania?

The most popular payment medium is cash. It is generally acceptable everywhere as a legal tender and is suitable for small value transactions. With the expansion of the economy and development of commercial banking, computer and communication technology, other non-cash payment instruments have been introduced. The non-cash instruments may be further classified under the following: -

  • Paper-based instruments – these include payment orders, bills of exchange, promissory notes and cheques. Automated credit transfers and direct debits are included in this mode of payment.
  • Plastic cards-these include, credit cards, debit cards / ATM cards and prepaid cards.
  • Electronic Funds Transfers (EFTs)- with the application of computers and communication technology, a number of paper-based payments have evolved into electronic forms, especially for large value transactions. EFTs are used for transferring value between banks on behalf of customers.
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5. The role of Bank Of Tanzania in the Payments System?

The operation of payment systems is closely related to the BOT's objectives of monetary stability and financial stability. The role of BOT in payment systems entails but is not limited to the following functionalities namely

As a user of Payment Systems: A central bank has its own transactions to carry out requiring the movement of funds e.g. settlement of government securities.

As a member of Payment Systems: The central bank can make and receive payments on behalf of its own customers for example government departments and other central banks.

As a provider of Payment Systems: The provision of settlement account to both the government and the commercial banks operating in the payment systems.

As a guardian of public interest: The role is much broader and may involve any of the following: Acting as payment system regulator, acting as a supervisor of system members, providing administration and planning for the payment systems, arbitrating in the event of complaints and handling compensation procedures.

The BOT may also be involved in wider issues such as promoting competition and cooperation while encouraging the development and adoption of technical standards.

As an overseer of the Payment system: The major oversight role of BOT is principally intended to promote the smooth functioning of payment systems and to protect the financial system from possible “domino effects”.

As a guarantor of daily settlement: By providing collateral intraday liquidity, availing funds to commercial banks in times of liquidity constraint, acting as a lender of last resort and rediscounting for government securities.

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