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Bank of Uganda targets mobile banking customers

bank of uganda logoBank of Uganda, Uganda’s central bank, plans to utilize mobile banking technology in order to reach out to millions of unbanked customers.

Justine Bagyenda, the executive director for supervision at the central bank, said that potential bank customers are scattered across the nation in areas where bank branches would not be viable, AfriqueJet.com reports.

“Few people of the total population have bank accounts,” Bagyenda said, according to AfriqueJet.com. “However, some of those without accounts have bankable money but find it difficult to access banking services either because they are not aware of the physical bank branches are miles away from them.”

Centenary Bank and Post Bank have taken steps to provide mobile banking technologies, including the “bank on wheels technology,” or vans with built-in banking services, including deposits and withdrawals, account openings and loan servicing. Bagyenda said, however, that the country is much too large to be adequately served by banks on wheels.

Additionally, Bagyenda said that if more banks were to provide similar services, it would increase competition and provide a supplement to other financial services, AfriqueJet.com reports.

In Uganda, there are nearly 9 million registered mobile money users, more than 25 percent of the entire population. Mobile money transactions increased 211 percent from 2011.

“We are optimistic that our cordial partnership with players in the financial industry will help consumers understand this dynamic financial sector with rapidly evolving markets,” Bagyenda said, according to AfriqueJet.com.

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