KAMPALA — KCB Bank Uganda and Airtel Uganda, have rolled out a variety of mobile financial solutions for customers in Uganda through Airtel Money.
The fully automated digital products include; Instant Unsecured Mobile Loans, Regular Savings and Fixed Deposit Savings Accounts that enables customers borrow mobile loans for as low as shs300 and earn interest on savings for as high 9%, respectively
Edgar Byamah, Managing Director, KCB Bank Uganda, said that, “Digital banking has and still is playing a pivotal role in the industry’s financial inclusion efforts as demonstrated by the rise in mobile money transactions and increase in the usage of digital solutions over the years.”
According to the Uganda Communication Commission (UCC), Q4 Market Report of 2020 Uganda registered commendable growth in new mobile money accounts with 2.6 million new accounts registered between January and December. In the Quarter ending December 2020, the total active mobile money accounts stood at 22.5 million up from 20.9 million in the first quarter.
On the business side, the number of active mobile agents had grown to 235,790 from 227,736 in September. For the first time ever, the number of mobile money transactions crossed the 1 billion transactions mark.
Mr. Byamah added that, “As a bank, our commitment is to enable our customers to Go Ahead by leading in innovation and technology-driven banking services delivered through alternative banking platforms, real-time banking options and cashless transactions. We strongly believe this is now the ideal approach to deepen financial inclusion as well as reach the unbanked population in Uganda and the rest of Africa.”
In his remarks at the launch, Airtel Uganda Managing Director, Manoj Murali said, “We are confident that our partnership with KCB Bank Uganda to deliver affordable, safe and secure financial services that will improve the lives of Ugandans who use our services, and subsequently ensure our mandate of driving financial inclusion in Uganda.”
He observed that there has been a year-on-year surge in the use of both feature and smart mobile phones in Uganda which has led to an increase in the number of people that rely on mobile money services whether for business or sending money to their loved ones. “Today, the mobile phone is more than just a tool for communication. It is a source of information and a one-stop center for financial services.
Speaking at the press briefing, Michael Ssekyondwa, Head of Retail Banking, KCB Bank Uganda explained that the partnership is aimed at providing quick access to Airtel Money float financing and encouraging everyone to save in a convenient manner.
“The first product is Instant Unsecured Mobile Loans which is revolving credit for Airtel Money agents. These will be able to borrow up to Ugx. 250,000 for a period of 48 hrs, at a fee of only Ugx. 300,” he said.
“With the second product: Regular Savings Account, customers will now be able to save using Airtel Money. No account setup fees, no minimum balance is required, there are no charges on deposits and withdrawals. Savings can start from as low as Ugx. 500 at an interest of 5% per annum. Using this product, customers are also able to view mini statements and other functionalities. They can also access their money at any time.”
The third product is the Fixed Savings Account which will enable Airtel Money customers conveniently make deposits from Ugx. 250,000 upwards. The customer can commit to 3, 6 and 12 months’ investment period and earn 8%, 8.5% and 9% respectively. No deposit and withdrawal fees are charged. The fixed deposit savings account will be made available to the public in the coming days.
Mr. Ssekyondwa said that KCB Bank Uganda through its dedication to provide innovative banking solutions and drive digitalization in Uganda found a partner with corresponding desires for the industry in Airtel Uganda, stating that, “We envision the growth of businesses and individuals and the ease of access to financial solutions in this partnership.”
Commenting on the partnership, Airtel Uganda Chief Commercial Officer, Amit Kapur noted that Airtel Uganda prides itself in promoting financial inclusion by extending reliable, safe and secure financial services to people regardless of their background and offering them the best customer experiences.
“Therefore, the partnership with KCB Bank Uganda will not only enable us enhance our finance services to allow customers access customizable and convenient banking services but also cement our position as The Smartphone Network with widely accessible affordable and convenient mobile solutions for our customers,” he said.
He also assured the team at KCB Bank Uganda that you have partnered with the right mobile financials services operator and together we are well on the road to scaling new heights”.