Uganda is Changing Rural Lives With Financial Software


Through Post Bank Uganda, the government is changing the financial landscape with an intended massive rollout of financial software to the countryside to empower the rural folk.

The introduction of the biometric identity card is in many ways a new invention for the financial sector because it brings to an end the vigorous processes of paper work and the need for those intending to access financial services or do banking to have fixed recognisable addresses.

Map International, an American company that operates a multi dimensional financial services platform will deliver the mass market virtual payment solution linking consumers, merchants, banks and service providers.

Almost 90% of the Ugandan population have no access to banking services. This has in many ways impacted negatively on the possibility of growing savings and accessing capital for progressive production.

Top industry sources say there is an informal agreement between the governments of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania to ensure that the connectivity of this facility will allow users to access the service in any part of East Africa. "The impact is increased deposits and therefore bankable funds," said Stephen Mukweli, the managing director of Post Bank Uganda.

The unique selling feature of the positive biometric identity cards is that the customer does not have to go and present a lot of paperwork because the features like the client's photo and fingerprints are captured.

The same features cannot be replicated or faked, as opposed to the conventional way of opening a bank account today. Once the roll-out process begins, the gadgets will have local translations so that even those who don't read or speak English can use them comfortably.

The biometric I.D. also guards against chances of money laundering because the audit trail and finger print features captured provide more secure features. The partnership between Map and Post Bank also involves Uganda Telecom, whose telecommunications infrastructure it will run.

East African Business Week