Stiff competition in Uganda’s financial sector is forcing institutions into adopting new forms of technology to reduce the costs of doing business and widen customer outreach for enhanced profitability.
The new innovative systems are especially targeting the earning but unbanked population in rural and hard to reach areas.
At first, it was Post Bank last year that introduced one of the most suitable mobile banking innovations named ‘Money on Wheels’; where vans equipped with all banking services move from place to place providing similar services customers would be offered while transacting business in the banking halls.
Of recent, Bank of Uganda gave Finca, one of the local licensed micro deposits taking institutions a go ahead to introduce the Point-of Sales (POS) mobile banking service.
The technology is integrated into devices called POS terminals whose functionality is aided by biometrical data capturing systems; biometrics technology stores human body-based data.
This is one of the most effective fraud proof data capturing systems because it involves the usage fingers, palms or faces; these features are unique given that every individual has his or her own distinctive identities.
The Finca Uganda chief executive officer Julius Omoding says that the POS can be operated by one person, making it cheaper than opening physical branches most of which require not less than sh100m, yet with POS, one can move from place to place.
The system requires customers to secure Access Cards from Finca branches to benefit from the technology through making deposits, withdrawals money, money transfers, balance inquiries, bank statements inquiries and account openning at the nearest POS Terminal.
“We are trying to lower the cost of doing business as well as creating convenience to our customers, if the costs are not high, the banking and loan interest charges will reduce drastically,” he told a client feedback meeting at Hotel Triangle, Kampala.
The technology is piloted in Amolata, Busia, Nakasongola, Sembabule and plans are underway to roll it to other districts.
In the same line, the institution also intends to partner with business people (agents) to use the POS so that customers can pay for goods and services by use of swap cards.