28 August 2014

Uganda: BoU Urges Mobile Money Customers On Pins

Bank of Uganda has asked all mobile money customers to secure their Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) to avoid the increasing losses incurred by mobile money users.

"I encourage Centenary bank and MTN to adhere to the Bank of Uganda mobile money guidelines which were issued in 2013. The guidelines address issues of transparency in the provision of services, data protection and catering for customers especially on their complaints," Justine Bagyenda, the executive director for Supervision at Bank of Uganda, said.

She was speaking at the launch of Centenary bank's ATM card-less service with MTN mobile money at Mapeera house last week. In this partnership, MTN registered customers can withdraw cash from their mobile money accounts using ATMs. Bagyenda also said the new innovation between Centenary bank and MTN will give customers easy access to their funds since it is a card-less service and the only requirement will be the mobile money PIN.

She said the innovation by Centenary bank and MTN was crucial for the reduction of overhead costs in the banking industry.

"On average, overhead costs are more than seven per cent of the total assets in the banking industry. This is more than three times as high as the average costs in most of the advanced economies," Bagyenda said.

She said the innovations were delivering huge benefits to customers in terms of speed, reliability and reduced costs in making payments. Phrase Lubega, the MTN general manager for sales and distribution, said their partnership with Centenary bank aimed at advancing their footprint by allowing customers to cash out at all Centenary bank ATMs even if they didn't have accounts in the bank.

"Our partnership is another opportunity to reach out to customers all over the country," he said.

"We are constantly looking for opportunities to simplify banking and employing the latest technology available to make banking more convenient."

According to the central bank, mobile money transactions totalled Shs 11.7 trillion in 2012, which was a 21 per cent increase from 2011.

"MTN continues to lead mobile money in Uganda with over 6.2 million registered users since their launch in 2009," he said.

Fabian Kasi, the managing director of Centenary bank, said the card-less ATM "is a step further in the bank's e-strategy. Early this year, we joined the interswitch, enabling our customers to access funds on over 280 ATMs," he said.


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