Friday March 31 2017

Banks partner to grow shared agent banking platform

By Jonathan Adengo


Commercial banks, through their umbrella body, the Uganda Bankers Association (UBA), have signed a joint venture partnership with Electics International, a pan-African private company to roll out a shared agent banking platform.

Agent banking is where a licensed financial institution engages an agent to provide special financial services on their behalf.
Under the partnership, Electics will design, develop, deploy and operate the inter-operable shared platform that connects all 25 member banks to the agent network across the country.
Electics International serves more than 205 banks across 23 countries in Africa and focuses on provision of affordable IT solutions.

Mr Fabian Kasi, the UBA chairman and Centenary Bank managing director, said the approach was meant to drive financial inclusion by increasing financial and banking services outreach to the underserve or unbanked population.

“The approach we are taking will further reduce access barriers to financial services as well as deepen and broaden the range of financial services like formal savings, credit products and many others including financial literacy and advisory services.

Mr Wilbrod Owor, the executive director United Bank of Africa, said the benefits that accrue from the collaboration include increased points of presence at reduced cost of expansion with opportunity to upgrade technology at minimal cost. “This is a sustainable step for our member banks to reduce their costs of operations and these benefits will be passed on to our customers and the wide population by way of access to more cost effective channels,” he said.

Banking space
Banking today is not limited to banks only; several un-banking institutions from unrelated verticals such as telecoms are stepping into this space by providing financial products and mobile wallets products. The advent of mobile money has driven banks to incorporate their functions into mobile money by tapping into the unbanked population. .