“I do my banking in my office, in my kitchen, oh, even on the taxi on my way home,” runs an advertisement on one of the local FM radio stations in Kampala, Uganda.
Mobile money transactions are on the rise in Uganda, making it easy and safe for millions of Ugandans to save time as they go about their daily business. In Uganda, as in most developing countries where the reach of banking infrastructure is severely limited, this is a big deal. This is an efficient service reaching more people faster and cheaper.
Mobile money - a term used to loosely refer to money stored using the SIM (subscriber identity module) as an identifier as opposed to an account number in the conventional banking sense. As the number of subscribers continue to increase, so does the competition grow amongst the Mobile Network Operators— MTN Uganda, Airtel, Africell Uganda and Uganda Telecom in a bid to belt their share of the market.
Business is readily transacted and it seems only progress comes with the increase of this innovative use of technology. One no longer needs to spend long hours queuing at the bank or at the ATM to make deposits or withdraw cash. In a country where access to the internet and computers is limited, mobile money is the next best option given that most people own or have access to a mobile phone. As such mobile money agents can be found even in the remotest parts of the country.
Subscribers can now pay their utility and other bills using mobile money, or even for some networks bank their money using their phones. It does not get better than this, especially for the rural population for whom public transport and other amenities are still a big problem.
Image Sources: Airtel Uganda