KAMPALA —Mr. Kamal Budhabhatti, the Chief Executive Officer, Craft Silicon, one of Kenya’s leading financial and technology firms, has urged Ugandan banks, fintechs, and businesses to invest more in cyber security, to enhance the safety of customers funds as more embrace digital transactions.
According to Kaspersky, Cyber security is described as the collective technologies or processes to safeguard the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data, against cyber-attacks or unauthorized access. The main purpose of cyber security is to protect organizational assets, customer data and information from both external and internal threats.
“It is key to note that, regardless of the exciting opportunities technology has to offer during this period, customers are likely to have some reservation, one of them the security of digital platforms,” Mr. Budhabhatti said during a recent discussion hosted by Centenary Bank in Kampala, under the theme: How Technology Can Improve Business performance
“The growth of digital banking avenues calls for businesses to invest more in promoting cyber security as a way of further protecting their customers’ funds, as they conveniently access financial services at the different touch points,” he explained.
The shift from traditional to digital banking is a journey, he added, and therefore, a lot of sensitization is required to settle such fears while creating more awareness about the benefits of using digital platforms.
According to Bank of Uganda, Bank to wallet (B2W) transactions witnessed a tremendous growth with 901,152 transactions worth UGX174.465 billion by February 2020, up from 616,525 transactions worth UGX102.247 billion in August 2018. The growth is largely attributed to individuals and businesses embracing the digital platforms for carrying our transactions like; mobile banking, agency banking and internet banking which enable customers to access funds safely, anytime and anywhere.
“The convenience, ease, security, and now sanitary benefits of handling finances at one’s comfort using a mobile phone or other portable gadgets is ideal in not only containing the further spread of COVID-19, but ensuring that Our Bank continues to serve its customers in Uganda and in the Diaspora through the digital banking channels,” noted Ms. Edith Kababure, Chief Manager Alternative Channels, Centenary Bank while speaking during the discussion.
She added that, “With the growth of mobile to wallet transactions and advent of mobile banking, SMEs have an alternative avenue to digitally access formal financials services through approved third-party service providers like, are areas the bank has harnessed to extended services to our customers across the country and beyond”.
Wallet to mobile and agent banking services such as CenteMobile and CenteAgent, respectively, enable SMEs and individuals to carry out financial transactions such as withdraws and deposits, and pay for utilities.
According to a Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) 2020 fourth Quarter report, there was a significant improvement in the national mobile money accounts which crossed the 1 billion transactions mark, surpassing the previous quarterly record of 954 million transactions posted in the months July to September 2020. This was majorly driven by mobile money bank transfers, 15 transactions per active mobile money account every month, including agent-assisted deposits, merchant payments, among other transaction categories.
“These digital solutions supported by the ever-evolving technology increase efficiency in service delivery and enable them to significantly reduce operational costs such as time, travel expenditures and other indirect costs,” Kababure said.