Centenary, Mastercard Move to Restructure Banking Services

Centenary Bank and Mastercard have entered into an agreement with a multi-prolonged approach to digitize Uganda’s economy in support of the National Financial Inclusion Strategy.

The pact was signed yesterday at the Annual Bankers’ Conference, which took place at Kampala Serena Hotel.

A statement issued by the two institutions shows that the Commercial Banking Agreement (CBA) will see the roll-out of a broad suite of digital payment solutions.

They also hope their strategy will “assist” in realizing “Vision 2040, which seeks to transform Uganda into a prosperous African economic powerhouse.”

“This partnership will help strengthen the National Payment Ecosystem through the introduction of relevant payment solutions including Masterpass QR, payment card solutions including debit, prepaid, and credit as well as premium solutions,” the communique partly reads.

Finance Minister Matia Kasaija 2017/18 budget speech reemphasized the importance of the National Financial Inclusion Strategy.

The ground breaking strategy, Fabian Kasi, managing director Centenary Bank says, seeks to address five major drivers of financial inclusion.

Kasi listed them as accessibility of financial services, credit infrastructure, digitization of financial services, appropriate and innovative financial products and consumer financial protection.

The 2016 Financial Inclusion Insights Survey reported that only 11 out of every 100 adults in Uganda have access to a bank account, and 53 percent of adults are using mobile payment solutions to transact.

The introduction of the mobile-driven person-to-merchant (P2M) solution by Mastercard called, Masterpass QR, will therefore help turn citizen’s mobile phones into a payment and acceptance tool.

“In our position as the largest commercial microfinance bank in country, with over 1.4 million customers, we are committed to delivering solutions that meet the diverse needs of people, especially those living in rural areas,” Kasi stated.

Backing Kasi’s presentation, Chris Bwakira, vice president and area business head for East Africa, Mastercard said: “the partnership is part of the Mastercard commitment to financially empower 100 million people in Africa by 2020,”

“We have made significant strides this year in Uganda, with our recent agreement with the Uganda Bankers’ Association and the work we are doing through the Mastercard Labs for Financial Inclusion,” he added.

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