Agency banking overtakes ATMs in Uganda

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LATEST figures from the Uganda Bankers Association (UBA) show that agency banking, which was introduced to the country in 2018, has overtaken the use of automated teller machines (ATMs), an official from the Ugandan banking sector told Xinhua.

‘The amount of money transferred through agency banking now stands at 2.2 trillion shillings (about $603 million) on a monthly basis. This is 800 billion shillings ($219 million) higher than that transferred through the ATMs,’ said Wilbrod Humpreys Owor, executive director of the UBA.

The country launched the agency banking system with the aim of making formal financial systems and services more accessible.

Owor said that the number of agents for agency banking, since it was launched two years ago, has grown fast to today’s 12,154, indicating that more people in Uganda have adapted to the system.

In contrast, the number of ATMs, which was first installed in Uganda in 1997, now stands at 923, according to Owor.

Meanwhile, the UBA on Wednesday signed a collaborative agreement with the Financial Technology Service Providers’ Association, a non-profit organisation in Uganda, to promote innovation, knowledge sharing and professional practices in the development of digital financial services.

Owor said the partnership between banks and financial technology service providers is critical to building the digital payment and business infrastructure, making it possible to bring clients into the financial system at potentially lower costs through technology.

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